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FAQs - Business Case

What is the Business Case into a new Hamilton Gallery and why did we do it?

A business case is required to secure funding from State and Federal governments as well as philanthropists for the project.

What did the Business Case say?

The collection by head of population is the most valuable in regional Victoria, being more than double the value of the next most valuable (city of Ballarat). This regionally significant collection needs to be appropriately managed and marketed and this can be better achieved in a building that drives tourist visitation to Hamilton.

The Business Case confirms we can increase interstate/international visitation tenfold from the current figures for people travelling along the Great Ocean Road and to the Grampians National Park.

How is additional funding being sourced?

Council will be establishing a skills-based Board to enable charitable donations from the arts community and key philanthropists, similar to what occurred at Shepparton and other galleries around Australia. It is hoped that this contribution will exceed that of Council, enabling a true partnership for delivery of this key infrastructure.

We will also be seeking substantial Federal and State Government support, just as it occurred at Ararat, Shepparton and Horsham.

Who oversaw the feasibility project and the Business case?

The project was undertaken by Denton Corker Marshall and sub-consultants and comprises schematic design, floor plans, construction costings and a full business case.

Who was involved in the consultation?

Prior to the December 2018 resolution of Council, there was a number of community engagement sessions on this project. There will be further consultation as part of more detailed design aspects still to come. This may also include input into a design competition for the new gallery itself, where residents can vote for their preferred design.

Is the business case in line with the council plan?

Yes it is. One of the Council Plan objectives is to have a healthy and vibrant community and a strategy aligned to this is to support and encourage participation in quality arts and cultural education, leisure, recreation and sporting opportunities. A new Hamilton Gallery will assist in meeting this objective.

Why don’t we leave things as they are?

We are already losing opportunities, including key travelling exhibitions and cannot run large events typical of Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong galleries. Even smaller galleries in Ararat, Horsham and Warrnambool are making ongoing investments. Shepparton is investing heavily in the Arts. Southern Grampians Shire is being left behind.

The local economy We are also missing out on tourist visitation from those travelling from the Great Ocean Road to the Grampians National Park and this is reflected in low occupancy rates, vacant shops and under-utilised capacity in restaurants. The economy shrank from $945 million in 2016 to $883 million in 2019. If we want to diversify our economy beyond agriculture, tap into tourist markets and grow the economy we need to have a bold vision built on our competitive advantage (the gallery collection).

With 90% of the current collection in permanent storage unable to be displayed, we owe the donors and the artists a more respectful acknowledgement of the collection. Visitors also deserve better experiences than they are currently being offered.

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