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Cowes Cultural and Community Centre

The growing and changing population of Phillip Island, together with an increasing expectation for recreation and cultural experiences, demands attention to the community facilities available in Cowes. There is strong community support for a dynamic, interactive Cultural Centre for the community.

The $19 million redevelopment of the Cowes Cultural and Community Centre involves replacing the existing Centre, to bring together the cultural and social aspirations of the community and draw visitors in to showcase the history and culture of the region. The new facility will encourage a range of community activities and events.

Cultural and Community Centre key objectives and benefits

  • The project will set new high standards in the provision of multi-use public community spaces, and in particular, deliver an accessible and functional building which contributes to best practice place making principles;
  • The new centre will be a destination building with interesting architecture, while providing service for the Council and Community;
  • Creating a dynamic and interactive place for people that is a source of community pride where groups can interact together;
  • Secure the long-term use and improve the functionality, safety and efficiency;
  • Incorporate Universal Design principles, expand and diversify the existing programs and services and improve access;
  • Support the projected growth in population and identify the local demand for cultural, artistic and community programs and services;
  • Best meets the communities’ needs giving consideration to Council’s existing strategic financial and cultural priorities;
  • Increase the lifestyle and liveability opportunities for new and existing residents and visitors to the Shire; and
  • Provide the centre point for cultural and heritage experiences and learning.

A revised concept of the Cowes Cultural and Community Centre was approved in October 2019. This concept maximised spaces for community groups, increased storage and enabled the design to function more effectively.

In February 2020, we sought tender responses for the detail design of the new facility. It is anticipated that the successful design team will be appointed in May 2020. Once appointed, the detail design of the facility will take place, which will include ongoing consultation with community groups and key stakeholders. The detail design phase is scheduled to begin in June 2020 and be completed in early 2021. Demolition of the existing centre is planned for the later part of 2020. Construction of the new facility will start in early 2021 and is expected to take 12 to 14 months.

The new Cowes Cultural and Community Centre is forecast to generate $51.8 million in benefit to the Bass Coast economy over the life of the project. The state government recently committed to the project, allocating $10 million via its Community Infrastructure Loans Scheme. The many economic and job benefits this project will bring the region ensures it will continue to progress. A new Cowes Cultural and Community Centre has been forecast in Council’s Long-Term Financial Plan. It’s location in the mid-block of Cowes will rejuvenate the activity centre and instil a sense of pride for Bass Coast whilst being the new home for many community uses and activities.