New performing arts precinct takes shape

A NEW $96 million cultural and creative arts infrastructure project is taking shape in Campbell Street in Hobart.

The arts precinct, named ‘The Hedberg’, will deliver a range of improvements to the Theatre Royal, as well as provide a new home for the University Conservatorium of Music.

It will offer vibrant and accessible performance venues, public spaces and innovative education spaces.

Named after the historic heritage Hedberg Garage, the façade has been preserved and incorporated into the design of the building.

Recently visiting the site was Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman, Minister for the Arts Elise Archer and the Chair of the Theatre Royal Management Board, Craig Stephen.

Ms Archer said Tasmania’s cultural and creative industries sector was an important part of the state’s economy, especially the burgeoning visitor economy.

“That’s why the Hodgman Liberal Government is providing $30 million in support for the project, in line with our plan to grow our creative industries and attract even more visitors to our state,” she said.

“Even more importantly, our significant investment in The Hedberg in partnership with the Federal Government and UTAS is a crucial part of our plan to grow the cultural and creative arts sector, particularly through performance and education, and support more local jobs.

“The construction phase alone is creating 280 jobs, with 58 that will be ongoing in the sector.”

The Theatre Royal is Australia’s oldest continually operating theatre.

Mr Stephens said the new building would complement and enhance this historic venue, forming a vibrant arts precinct where visitors would be able to experience a variety of performance styles.

“Once complete, the project will provide the Theatre Royal with improved front-of-house patron spaces and access, and modern back-of-house technical facilities,” he said.

“In addition, the Backspace Theatre will be replaced by a modern, purpose-built Studio Theatre.

“Visitors to the Theatre Royal will be offered an exciting range of performing arts experiences and the opportunity to enjoy a new, vibrant cultural destination.”

Ms Archer said she was excited by the enormous potential for the cultural and creative industries to continue to thrive and grow, as well as showcase the state’s talent to a wider audience.

“I have no doubt The Hedberg will further enhance Tasmania’s reputation as a leader in the creative, performing and digital arts,” she said.

For more information on The Hedberg project, visit http://www.utas.edu.au/cipa/home

Caption: From left, Minister for the Arts Elise Archer, Chair of the Theatre Royal Management Board Craig Stephens and Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman at The Hedberg construction site.