Hilltops Council will have to wait until the end of October to learn if a bid to secure local funding from the State Government’s ‘Regional Cultural Fund’ has been shortlisted, with a final announcement expected in early 2018.

General Manager Anthony McMahon said Council lodged an Expression of Interest last week, seeking $3 million from the fund, which is slated to invest $100 million from the State Government over four years into regional NSW.

Mr McMahon said Council’s application is an important part of a long-term vision that Council has, to help make available to the local community the arts, cultural and educational resources that metro areas have long enjoyed.

“If successful, this application will go towards the creation of the Cultural, Community and Education precinct in Young, which includes the construction of a state-of-the-art Library and University Centre; a project that heralds the start of an exciting new phase in the development of our local resources and infrastructure,” Mr McMahon said.

“The State Government has promoted the program as a means to ensure regional NSW gets ‘its fair share’ of arts and cultural infrastructure; I’m confident our application will help achieve just that, and will be seen as an extremely worthwhile investment.

“Council is committed to working with stakeholders in the local arts, cultural and education sectors so that together we can develop facilities that support the creation of social and economic benefits that will enhance opportunities and outcomes for residents of all ages, for generations to come,” he said.

Although the current funding bid is focused on a new facility in Young, it is part of a larger Hilltops-wide vision of improving cultural, community and education access and facilities.

“A key aspect of the proposed investment in Young will be ensuring quality digital connectivity to the facilities in Harden and Boorowa, which will enable community programs and events to be accessed virtually across communities,” Mr McMahon said.

“At the same time Council has recently submitted further grant applications for historical and cultural projects in Harden, that will directly compliment the project in Young,” he said.

Mr McMahon said Council continues to engage with the local community regarding the location of the new Library and University Centre, and is encouraging residents with a view, to make their voices heard.

“Council is maintaining an ongoing dialogue with the community about the preferred location for the new Library and University Centre.  When the newly elected Council is on board I expect a final round of consultation to occur that will allow Council and the community to bed down a site to move forward with,” Mr McMahon said.

Anyone who has a view on the sites being discussed is encouraged to write to Council by emailing: mail@hilltops.nsw.gov.au.

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Media Contact: Anthony McMahon, Hilltops Council – 02 6380 1200.