Parramatta's cultural revolution - Powerhouse site secured, Riverside Theatre to be revamped

Published: 31 Jul 2017

Released by: The Premier

The NSW Government has reached an agreement with Parramatta Council for a massive investment in new cultural infrastructure in Parramatta, securing the first major step in the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum to Sydney’s west.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the $140 million agreement laid the foundations for a vibrant arts and cultural precinct in Parramatta and secured the best site for the new Powerhouse Museum in Parramatta.

“Today is a major step forward in the NSW Government’s commitment to relocating the Powerhouse Museum to Western Sydney,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“The relocated Powerhouse Museum in Parramatta will be the anchor for arts and culture for the region, and now the site for the museum is locked in.

“The Powerhouse at Parramatta will include the best exhibits currently at Ultimo, and will build on them. The new Powerhouse in Parramatta will be bigger and better than anything this State has seen and will be a drawcard for domestic and international visitors.”

The $140 million in-principle agreement will see:

  • The NSW Government purchasing the riverfront site for the Powerhouse Museum (Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences).
  • The City of Parramatta committing $40 million to fund and grow arts and culture in the community over the next 20 years.
  • A partnership between the NSW Government and the Council for a $100 million redevelopment of the Riverside Theatre with the State taking a 50 per cent interest in the project.

Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said that the redevelopment of the Riverside Theatre presented an exciting opportunity.

“We are going to build a world class performing arts centre at the Riverside which will attract the very best shows in Australia,” he said.

“We are working closely with the community and the City of Parramatta to make sure Parramatta has the world class arts facilities and the $40 million fund will help to unleash Parramatta as a cultural powerhouse in the centre of metropolitan Sydney.”

Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee said this agreement would support the continued growth of the thriving arts and cultural sector in Parramatta, for the community and across the State.

“Every cent of the $140 million that the NSW Government is investing will be spent back into arts and culture here in Parramatta so expect more projects and more events,” Dr Lee said.

The NSW Government will retain an arts and cultural presence at the current Ultimo site following the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta.

Consultation is in progress with the community on the development of the new Powerhouse Museum in Parramatta.

The NSW Government is undertaking a business case to determine the future of the current Ultimo site.

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