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IT'S MUSIC TO OUR EARS Featured
12 November 2019 Posted by 

IT'S MUSIC TO OUR EARS

Conservatorium facelift an inspiration
CENTRAL Coast Conservatorium is to have a major facelift, thanks to the recent delivery of $2M in funding from the State Government.

Board president, Peter Brandon, has described the Government’s decision to deliver the funds, pledged in 2015 for a major upgrade of the facility, as “music to our ears”.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was on the Coast recently to announce the release of the funds, which were originally promised as part of a $12M pledge comprising $2M for the Con and $10M for a performing arts centre in Gosford

The other $10M is in limbo with Central Coast Council’s recent decision to defer plans for a PAC.

Mr Brandon said the Con operates out of the oldest heritage listed building on the Coast, a collection of demountables and a host of halls, rooms and venues all over the Coast.

“This funding injection will allow us to transform the Con through sensitive refurbishment, upgrades to bathrooms, the kitchen, teaching and rehearsal spaces and bringing in a new piano and furniture, including seating in the Robert Knox Hall,” he said.

The funds will also allow master planning for long-term future capital works.

“We have a big vision for performing arts on the Coast – a combined Conservatorium and small acoustic concert hall that will become a vibrant educational and cultural hub for our region,” Mr Brandon said.

Conservatorium Deputy Chair Claire Braund said master planning for the future could pave the way for a 500-600 seat acoustic performance hall, which is what the Coast “desperately needs”.

She said talks were ongoing with Central Coast Council re a council-owned block to the rear of the Con as a possible site.
Building from here

“But this $2M allows us to start with a small footprint and build from there,” she said. “We have been lobbying for many years for an appropriate music hall with an orchestra pit.

“We have some world-class musicians here and there is nowhere suitable for them to play on the Coast.”

Ms Berejiklian said musicians of the Coast had used the former courthouse and police station since 1987 and it was “high time” it was brought up to date with new performance and equipment essential refurbishment and safety upgrades.

“Providing an inspiring learning space will encourage students to want to learn music and teachers to give their best,” she said.

“I hope it will also attract other young people to think big in terms of musical study.

“This will be a real boost for the region, with students no longer having to travel long distances for a top-class learning environment.”

Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch described the announcement as a “watershed moment” for the Con and the entire region and said master planning would ensure future capital works “meet the long-term needs of our region”.

“This investment is critical to the Conservatorium’s long-term success and I’m thrilled these improvements can now get underway to bring the space into the 21st century,” Mr Crouch said.

Arts Minister Don Harwin, who accompanied the Premier to the Coast, said the money would give the Con a “whole new lease of life” which would continue to inspire students and delight audiences for years to come.



editor

Michael Walls
Publisher
P: 0407 783 413
E: Michael@accessnews.com.au

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Central Coast Business Access (CCBA) covers the business and community issues of the NSW Central Coast region. CCBA is a prime media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities.