Cultural Venue Hire FAQs
To ensure facilities are well utilised and accessible, Council balances affordability for users with the cost of maintaining operational and asset service standards to meet community and commercial needs.
This unified approach aims to achieve consistency, fairness, equitable access and transparency for stakeholders, users and Council.
There are two categories for applying fees and charges for the hire of cultural facilities:
- Standard rate (commercial hirer)
- Subsidised rate (community hirer @ 50%)
Cultural facilities are subsidised to ensure they are accessible for the local community. Our teams also work in partnership to help community groups achieve mutual goals.
The subsidised Community Rate applies to community groups and organisations who are either an unincorporated volunteer group, emergency service authority or a registered “not-for-profit” legal entity (such as an incorporated association) and have their own Public Liability Insurance.
Those eligible for the subsidised Community Rate receive a 50 per cent discount from the standard venue hire rate, as well as use of a venue technician for the duration of the auditorium hire (max eight hours per day). All ‘standard rig’ audio, visual, lighting and theatre equipment is included as part of Venue Hire rates.
The ‘full day’ venue hire rate, including rehearsal rates, is limited to a maximum of eight hours, after which an hourly fee is charged.
The subsidy does not apply to further staff costs required.
The Fees and Charges reflect that the Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre and Cowes Cultural and Community Centre are fully staffed professional spaces. The subsidised rate includes a venue technician in the cost.
It is appropriate that Council on-charge a percentage of its direct additional staffing costs to the hirer
A supervising Venue Technician is required for all events within the auditorium spaces. Venue hirers are welcome to provide additional technicians to work under the direction of the venue technician.
WUCAC and Cowes CCC venues are fully staffed professional spaces that have OH&S, and workplace regulatory obligations to meet. The venue technician also covers the role of chief fire warden.
The administering and selling of tickets incurs costs, such as staffing resources, systems maintenance, merchant fees and other bank charges.
The ticket fee is inclusive of:
- 1 x box office staff member for the event
- Online event build including allocated seating where applicable.
- Basic online marketing: web and e-listings
- Online and phone sale channels
- Third party ticketing provider costs to Council
- Credit card merchant fees
Council must provide all ticketing for events held in its cultural facilities, through its own Box Office services and systems.
Council acknowledges that venues with less seating capacity offer a reduced opportunity for hirers to generate revenue, depending on the event type.
Staffing and facility costs for operating cultural facilities are comparable, regardless of size and seating capacity.
Accordingly, based on a combination of reduced seating capacity but comparable operational costs, Cowes Cultural and Community Centre auditorium is proportionally cheaper than the Wonthaggi auditorium.
The fees and charges for the Cowes Cultural and Community Centre are based on the standard (commercial) rate for the Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre. This rate has not increased this financial year.
Benchmarking with Cultural facilities of similar size in regional areas found the Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre fees to be at the lower end of the scale.
Bass Coast region is growing and evolving. Our community and our visitors desire access to cultural facilities to enrich and deepen their experiences, to showcase their local talents and to express new and creative ideas on the best available platform.