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Newcastle Art Gallery expansion set to get the green light

A render of the Newcastle Art Gallery upgrade project. Picture: Supplied

A $35.6 million project, 16 years in the making, to double the size of Newcastle Art Gallery looks set to get the go-ahead from Council next week.

A financial report, to be tabled at Tuesday night’s Council meeting has concluded that City of Newcastle (CoN) will be able to fund the expansion, thanks to a fixed interest rate of less than 1%.

“An expansion of the Gallery has been discussed for 16 years with more than $10 million raised by the community to support the project,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“I’m pleased to say that City of Newcastle staff have identified a funding pathway to more than double the size of this wonderful community asset and make our shared dream a reality,” Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“With the current favourable economic conditions, including historically low interest rates, the time has come for City of Newcastle to make this project happen.”

The report recommends the preferred funding option is to borrow up to $22.6 million over a 10-year fixed rate term from NSW Treasury Corporation.

Cr Nelmes said while this funding option has been identified as preferable, CoN would continue to seek Federal and State grant funding before taking out the loan to ensure all available grant funding options have been exhausted.

Council has already approved a DA for the project which will upgrade the Gallery with a newcafé and retail shop, a multi-purpose and educational program space,improved display and secure international standard loading dock.

The upgrade will also include an additional 1,600 square metres of exhibition space with dedicated areas for the significant Newcastle Art Gallery collection on the lower level.

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