CONCEPT designs and a business case for the new Surf Coast Cultural Center have been revealed, with the center expected to attract tens of thousands of additional visitors and support over 800 direct and indirect jobs.

To be built within the grounds of Surf City and expand the existing Torquay Library, Australian National Surfing Museum and Visitor Information Center as well as add new space, the center will be constructed in two stages at a total cost of around $57 million.

According to the design report prepared by William Ross Architects and presented to Surf Coast Shire councilors at their Tuesday meeting this week, the design celebrates the site and its surroundings with input from the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, and the concepts of “Creativity, Cultural and Community Gathering”.

“Located in a tight urban site surrounded by high-street retail and on-floor parking lots, the project has the potential to transform the neighborhood through evocative architectural and public design,” the report states.

“To achieve this, the boundaries of the site need to be blurred – bringing enhanced public realm experiences and organized trips through the site that cross the Surf Coast Highway to Torquay, and northwest to engage with the residential areas and the high school beyond. .

“The architecture will respond to the flow of people and site, creating livable and welcoming spaces and edges – a building edge sitting in dappled shade; a facade that highlights the internal activities; views of public spaces and beyond; views from the first floor to where sky meets water or land.”

The Stage 1 upgrades will take place alongside the MAC, which is already in place at the compound, and Environment Minister Sussan Ley and Liberal Corangamite candidate Stephanie Asher visited the MAC during a visit on Monday this week.

Surf Coast Shire Mayor Libby Stapleton, Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley, Torquay Theater Troupe Vice President Fred Preston and Corangamite Liberal candidate Stephanie Asher backstage at the MAC. Photo: JAMES TAYLOR

The report from the agents to the advisers indicates that the conceptual design and business case confirm the council’s two-stage construction approach for the centre, and also outline how the center is expected to be operated and the benefits and impacts of its delivery. .

The county has already committed $8.06 million and is requesting an additional $28.9 million from grant programs and/or state or federal election commitments to offset the total cost of $36.86 million for the phase. 1.

Applications for the state’s Regional Tourism Investment Fund for $10 million and the federal Building Better Regions Fund for $8.06 million have been made, but county officials warn in their report that “the inability to attract adequate external funding to complete the entire Stage 1 project is a significant risk to the project”.

“The project is included in the council’s advocacy priorities and it is regularly included in conversations with politicians and candidates in this double election year.

“Multiple and ongoing applications for a major grant cycle continue and more will be needed in the future to attract the $29 million in external funding to deliver the project.

“Council succeeding with some grants but not getting full required $29 million presents a difficult future decision to potentially return money, reducing the scope of the project or the council borrowing to fund the project.”

Phase 2, which will be built in 2030, will cost an additional $20.7 million.

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