Singleton's new arts and cultural centre is on track for a grand opening in March 2022.
The $4.08million new building, funded in partnership between Singleton Council and a $2.787million Create NSW grant, also expands Townhead Park as a destination for recreation and leisure following the installation of the new children's playground and bike track.
The design includes more than 200 square metres of state-of-the-art gallery space, two artists' workshops, decking and a shared foyer providing connectivity to the existing Visitor Information Centre and café on the New England Highway.
"After years on our community's wish list and in the planning phase, it's really exciting to see the new Arts and Cultural Centre taking shape," says Vicki Brereton, Singleton Council's director Organisation and Community Capacity.
"This project will deliver a vibrant new facility that will be the cultural epicentre for our community and the region, providing a space for the exhibition and creation of art, and a showcase of Singleton's cultural identity."
The new building is close to lock up, but construction has been delayed by COVID through the delivery of materials, with completion expected in November, followed by internal fit-out and integration with the existing Visitor Information Centre.
Council allocated funding to the internal fit out of the new building, as well as the refurbishment of the Visitor Information Centre, at its September ordinary meeting.
"Bearing in mind the internal fit out phase, the local government election on December 4 and ongoing uncertainty around COVID restrictions, we're tentatively working towards a formal opening in March next year when we can launch the new facility with our community," Brereton says.
Dr Faye Neilson has also been appointed as coordinator Arts and Culture for Singleton Council.
"Dr Neilson is very highly qualified: she has a doctorate in fine arts, her professional career has been involved in and around art as a creator, teacher and appreciator, including supervising PhD students at the University of Newcastle, and most importantly she brings a vision for the centre that is very inspiring," Brereton says.
"I can't wait to see the new Arts and Cultural Centre in operation, and how it will capture and reflect Singleton's cultural identity and further develop Singleton as a regional destination for the arts and creativity."