First look at new $60m cultural centre in Launceston
A new $60 million cultural centre focused on uplifting the arts industry could be coming to the banks of the Tamar River and be in its building phase by this time next year.
The kanamaluka Cultural Centre, to be situated near Kings Wharf Road and Lindsay Street, is a joint venture between developer Errol Stewart and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
The name of the centre comes from the original name of the river from the Indigenous people and was approved for use by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.
The centre will include a TSO auditorium with 750 seats, a 1000 seat conference space, a space for Indigenous art and culture, exhibition and function halls, an outdoor screen, space that can be used as a recording studio, a digital suite, large public foyers, bars, a cafe, and a specific black box area for the performing arts.
“I think the conference centre and the exhibition space will help pay for the arts because arts generally doesn’t produce a lot of revenue,” Mr Stewart said. However, he said it was unknown whether the black box space would have the capacity to hold main stage touring productions, but could instead be used as a film studio.
The planning for the two-floor development has been in the works for the past six months, and Mr Stewart hoped a development application would be approved by the end of the year, with funding to follow soon after.
He said $40 million was needed from the federal government and $15 million was needed from the state government, with a further $5 million needed to be raised corporately.
“We just need some money,” Mr Stewart said.
“If we get the gig and get the nod on the development of kanamaluka, we would then build another 100 room hotel, potentially 120 to 140 rooms.”
Tasmania Symphony Orchestra chief executive Caroline Sharpen said the cultural centre would be an equivalent to the Sydney Opera House.
“There are so many wonderful cultural institutions around the world that become a signature of the place that they are in and kanamaluka could be exactly that for Tasmania,” she said.
“The kanamaluka Cultural Centre is one of those once in a lifetime, once in a generation opportunities to develop a cultural centre from the ground up and to have something of this nature in Launceston … creates so many possibilities.”