Budget creates strong future for local arts and culture

Burdekin Shire Council is investing in a strong future for cultural development with more than $1.1 million allocated towards arts and culture projects in the 2019/20 Budget.

Among the highlights in this year’s Budget is the development of a Burdekin Arts and Cultural Strategy.

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the key strategic document would guide future planning and investment priorities.

“Arts and culture play an important role in our Shire. Not only do they make for a richer and more vibrant community, they also contribute to our economy by attracting visitors to local festivals, theatre performances and events,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“This strategy will not only enhance the ability of local arts groups to apply for state and federal grants, it will also provide Council with a strong direction for the future growth of arts throughout the Burdekin Shire.”

Council will also invest in maintaining and upgrading the Shire’s cultural venues.

“The Burdekin Theatre and Burdekin Memorial Hall are the cultural centres of our Shire, attracting more than 33,000 attendees each year.

“Council has allocated $48,000 in funding to replace the lighting consoles at each venue which will enhance the venues’ offerings and improve patron experiences.

“The upgrade will complement the recent sound system upgrade at the Burdekin Theatre which elevated the venue’s sound quality to rival any other in the country.”

“A further $50,000 has been budgeted to upgrade the LED lighting in the Burdekin Memorial Hall which will enable our Cultural Venues staff to continue providing the highest possible quality of performances.”

Other cultural and community venues upgrades include $900,000 to undertake planning and subsequently commence the refurbishment and upgrade of the Burdekin Theatre across two years, $55,000 to upgrade the public toilets at the Burdekin Library, and a further $240,000 to complete Phase 2 of the Ayr Showgrounds electrical upgrade.

Burdekin Library visitors will also benefit from the replacement of the library management computer system, roof, carpet and air-conditioning.

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