Picabar gets ministerial reprieve

14/11/2018 - 14:30

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Northbridge venue Picabar may have been granted a reprieve, after intervention by Culture and Arts Minister David Templeman that will grant Picabar first preference in lease negotiations.

Picabar gets ministerial reprieve
Picabar co-owner Conor Buckley. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Northbridge venue Picabar may have been granted a reprieve, after intervention by Culture and Arts Minister David Templeman that will grant Picabar first preference in lease negotiations.

In October, the operators of the venue disclosed that their lease had been terminated by the state government, following the transferral of the Perth Cultural Centre management to the Perth Theatre Trust.

Picabar was sub-leased from the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA), and had been operating month to month since 2012, when its original six-month lease expired.

Owners Melissa Bowen, Brian Buckley and Conor Buckley today told Business News they had received a call from Mr Templeman’s office to tell them that the Perth Theatre Trust would negotiate the lease with them first.

A spokesperson for David Templeman confirmed that Picabar will now receive first preference for lease negotiations, and an expressions of interest process will only be initiated if these talks are unsuccessful.

The move followed a wave of public support for Picabar, including a petition that gathered over 10,000 signatures.

Ms Bowen said the owners were now waiting on contact from the trust, but were excited to begin the process.

“We had asked the minister to consider negotiating with us first instead of going to an expressions of interest process, and he considered that request for a couple of weeks,” she said.

“Then we heard from the minister last night that he had asked the Perth Theatre Trust, which will be in charge of the new lease, to negotiate with us first.

“It’s not a done deal, there’s no agreement.

“However, we’re very happy with that, it is what we have asked for, and we feel really confident that we can now get a good result for us, and the Perth Theatre Trust, and the Cultural Centre, and the public.”

Ms Bowen said she hoped for a long-term solution that would benefit all organisations within the Cultural Centre.

“We’re certainly confident that we can negotiate a long-term arrangement for this space because of the importance of this area going forward,” she said.

“It is a long-term solution that everyone needs - that we need, that the government needs, and that all the other stakeholders in the Cultural Centre need.”

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