The iconic 93-year-old Armidale Teachers’ College building is set for a $1 million upgrade thanks to the State Government, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall welcoming Minister for Arts Ben Franklin to Armidale last Friday to make the funding announcement.
Mr Marshall said the grant to the New England Conservatorium of Music would enable the historic building’s many user groups, including the Armidale Eisteddfod Society, Armidale Youth Orchestras, Armidale Symphony Orchestra, Friends of the Teachers’ College, Musica Viva Armidale and Fiori Musicali Choir to fully utilise previously unfit areas of the College, creating a thriving hub for community and cultural activity.
“Built in 1929, the heritage-listed Armidale Teachers’ College is an impressive building high on a hill overlooking Armidale and I have always thought it fitting that one of our region’s strongest cultural institutions is housed in one of Armidale’s most iconic buildings,” Mr Marshall said.
“NECOM’s focus is to maximise the use and function of 29 teaching and performance spaces within the building and support their flexible delivery and outreach capabilities via digital enablement.
“This refurbished site will deliver a direct economic benefit for our musicians, performers, and the local arts sector while providing a fantastic facility and for the entire community to enjoy.”
Minister for the Arts Ben Franklin said the funding will benefit the Armidale region by providing new opportunities for audiences to engage in arts and cultural experiences across communities with quality cultural infrastructure
“This is an important cultural infrastructure project for Armidale that will shape its future as a destination for arts and culture, and enhance experiences for audiences and visitors alike.
“Cultural equity is at the heart of the NSW Government’s Creative Capital program, and thanks to the $72 million investment, more projects like this can realise their ambition of providing more people with access to world-class arts and culture in the regions,” Mr Franklin said.
The project’s focus is to maximise the use and function of rehearsal and performance spaces within ATC and support greater delivery of community workshops, rehearsals, and events.
New England Conservatorium of Music Co-CEO Business Sophie Williams welcomed the funding and highlighted the importance of the upgrades for all 14 community user groups.
“The project’s primary priority is to expand access and participation in community cultural activities and to provide improved and fit-for-purpose facilities for community groups, schools, students and touring programs,” Ms Williams said.
“These upgrades will support the creative economy and ensure enjoyment of quality cultural experiences within Armidale and the New England region with outcomes that will serve current and future generations.”