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Creative Transformation For Collingwood Tech

The disused Collingwood tech site is set to become a contemporary arts precinct, with support from the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley today announced $3 million, as part of the Labor Government’s Creative State strategy, alongside $4.5 million in donations and $4 million previously contributed by the State.

The announcement heralds the next stage of the creative transformation of the former Collingwood Technical School in Johnston Street.

The long abandoned school was given a new lease on life in 2010 when it was earmarked for a new home for Circus Oz. In 2014 Circus Oz moved in to its state-of-the-art new facility occupying 60% of the 10,000sqm site.

In a partnership, the Labor Government is working with a social enterprise, Contemporary Arts Precincts (CAP) to redevelop the three triple storey buildings, and spaces including a large leafy courtyard.

This will provide a new creative hub and co-working spaces for small-to-medium arts organisations, artists, creative businesses and activities.

In addition to the Labor Government contribution, CAP has received donations from the Danielle and Daniel Besen Foundation, The Myer Foundation and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, The Ian Potter Foundation, Marc and Eva Besen and the Harold Mitchell Foundation.

The contemporary arts precinct is set to be operational by the end of 2018. In the meantime, a range of activities are planned to open up the site to the public, commencing with Open House Melbourne on Sunday 31 July.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley

“Activating creative hubs at the heart of communities around Victoria is a key action of our $115 million strategy to make Victoria the Creative State, and this is a great example of how it can be done.”

“I acknowledge the generous support and shared vision of our philanthropic partners, with their support CAP is creating an exciting space for others to follow.” 

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning and Member for Richmond Richard Wynne

“This is a transformational project for Collingwood, one that builds on the area’s creative community and reinvigorates a long derelict site.“

“It will be a dynamic place for creative organisations and businesses to thrive and for the public to be inspired.”

Quotes attributable to CAP CEO Marcus Westbury

“This project will be creating an extraordinary new cultural asset in the heart of Collingwood, offering secure, affordable tenancies and innovative programs to incubate, support and showcase artists.”

“We thank our generous donors and the State Government for their support and recognition of the role creativity plays in our culture, our city and our lives.”