Broad wins arts centre work

17/12/2021 - 15:00

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Broad Construction has been appointed to build the controversial $44.5 million performing arts and convention centre in Busselton.

Broad wins arts centre work
An artist's impression of the Performing Arts and Convention Centre.

Broad Construction has been appointed to build the controversial $44.5 million Performing Arts and Convention Centre in Busselton.

The development will be a multi-function venue, integrated with the Weld Theatre and ArtGeo Gallery, for live performances, business events and award nights.

It will include a 625-seat auditorium, fixed dress circle seats and a separate studio with capacity to seat 400 people.  

The company said work would commence in 2022 and would be completed in 2023.

The total project value is $44.5 million, including consultant costs, fit out and landscaping, and a contingency provision of $3 million.

Members of the local community were concerned with the cost of the project, after initial estimates anticipated construction would cost $24.5 million, but the tenders council received were all at least $13 million over budget.

The increase was attributed to labour and material shortages in the construction industry.

The council commissioned independent research firm Catalyse to survey residents about the project, which found 53 per cent of residents opposed it, 45 per cent wanted to proceed and 2 per cent were unsure. 

Confirmed funding for the project includes a federal grant of $10.35 million, $2.7 million from the sale of the old library building, $2 million from Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program funding, $250,000 in sponsorship from Rio Tinto and $2.5 million from council reserve and retained surplus funds.

City of Busselton mayor Grant Henley said extensive research, market analysis and industry consultation had been undertaken over the past decade to inform the design and viability of the centre.

Last week, the South West Times reported Busselton-based Georginana Molloy Anglican School would begin building a 400-seat performing arts centre nearby.

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