$76m investment helps reactivate WA arts industry

WA’s arts sector will get support for its COVID-19 recovery with a $76 million investment that will include a restoration of Perth’s iconic concert hall.

The McGowan Government made the announcement on Thursday that will include initiatives to assist the sector’s social and economic recovery.

Among the initiatives as part of the government’s WA Recovery Plan, the Perth Concert Hall will receive a $30 million upgrade and investment over the next three years.

Works to the historic venue will involve the restoration and redevelopment of the building and forecourts to create an “accessible, functional and active cultural hub.”

It is expected to create 230 jobs.

The funding will also go towards His Majesty’s Theatre, with $15 million to go towards upgrades and restoration work.

$15 million will be devoted to risk package “Getting the Show Back on the Road”, to “reactivate live performances and touring activities, creating increased opportunities for employment and venue activation.”

A $5 million Lotterywest investment will also be created for the Creative Communities Recovery – Artists in Residency Program, which will provide employment opportunities for individual artists.

The government will include $2 million to planning for an Aboriginal Cultural Centre, $2 million for the investment for the design and delivery of online portals for Aboriginal art sales and presentation of performing arts activity.

$6 million will also go towards the Jewish Community Centre, matching the Federal Government’s investment of $6 million to upgrade the existing facility in Yokine.

Arts Minister David Templeman said the investment was helping WA reactivate and future-proof its arts industry.

“Now, more than ever, Australians recognise the role and immense value of culture and the arts in our communities, to bring joy, unify and build bridges between people,” Mr Templeman said.

“Unfortunately, the sector has been hit hard by COVID-19, with restrictions to social gatherings and border closures.”

“The State Government is providing a much-needed boost to the culture and arts sector as part of the WA Recovery Plan and we’ll continue to develop appropriate responses into the future.”

Treasurer Ben Wyatt said the investment would also help create jobs for the sector and the state.

“These initiatives from the WA Recovery Plan provide reassurance to artists, arts groups and organisations that the State Government is doing all it can to revive not just the Perth Concert Hall but the entire sector.

“This helps meets the government commitment to the creation of jobs and a vibrant and diverse arts ecology which underpins an active, engaged and liveable community.”

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