13/02/2019 - 13:24

Sunset to become cultural precinct

13/02/2019 - 13:24

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The Sunset Hospital site on the riverfront in Dalkeith will become a cultural and creative precinct, with Culture and Arts Minister David Templeman today announcing an expressions of interest process.

David Templeman (R) and Arts DG Duncan Ord want to transform the heritage Sunset Hospital precinct. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

The Sunset Hospital site on the riverfront in Dalkeith will become a cultural and creative precinct, with Culture and Arts Minister David Templeman today announcing an expressions of interest process.

With a view of the Swan River in one of Perth’s most exclusive suburbs, the Sunset precinct was previously an asylum for ageing and destitute men.

The A-class reserve has already undergone significant works in the past 12 months to upgrade infrastructure and landscaping, but the heritage buildings will require substantial renovation.

The precinct is currently being utilised as a performance space for Perth Festival’s Sunset, a collaboration between STRUT Dance and Tura New Music, and parts are also used as offices by Minderoo Foundation.

Mr Templeman said responsibility for the precinct had recently been transferred to the culture and arts portfolio, and the state government was aiming to deliver outcomes in the areas of heritage and indigenous tourism, creative industries, and activation.

“The expressions of interest process will seek interest from organisations, businesses and interested parties who have a vision for how we can activate these heritage buildings, bring them back up to a magnificent lustre, and create opportunities from a culture, arts and heritage tourism perspective,” he said.

“The whole site was decommissioned in 1995, but since then has sat essentially untouched.”

The site includes several large buildings in need of repair.

The EOI will be released to the market through McGees Property and will close on March 20.

Mr Templeman said the entire site, including 13 buildings, would be subject to the process.

He said the tenants onsite, including the Minderoo Foundation, were aware of the EOI process and would be putting forward submissions.

Mr Templeman said he hoped the precinct would match the success of Perth’s State Buildings in reactivating a heritage space to a world-class standard.

“Heritage assets used to be seen as a liability; they are no longer,” he said.

“Heritage assets, when you have a good plan and strong adaptive reuse principles, can deliver high quality, and we don’t have to look very far down St George’s Terrace to see that with the State Buildings.”

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