Encore for Twyford Hall theatre funding bid

Twyford Theatre committee members at the hall after meeting with NSW Cultural Infrastructure Program Management Office officials.
Twyford Theatre committee members at the hall after meeting with NSW Cultural Infrastructure Program Management Office officials.

The Twyford Hall committee is pushing ahead with a bid to build a professional theatre after being told by the NSW Cultural Infrastructure Program Management Office (CIPMO) it is one of a number of high value projects that will be reconsidered for funding.

The 200-seat raked Twyford Theatre project didn’t make the cut in round one of the arts infrastructure funding program but had sufficient merit that CIPMO officials visited the committee on Tuesday, February 13 to discuss how the bid could be progressed.

It will now go forward to be considered in round two funding, which is a closed round, consisting of the best of the bids which were not successful in round one.

Committee member John Beever said they would be refining and strengthening their bid for $7.4 million from the round two fund of $25m.

One of the issues for the Twyford Hall bid has been the less than fulsome support from Bega Valley Shire Council who took months to supply a letter of support for the project which has been almost 20 years in the making and has received $75,000 in community support.

The News Weekly understands that CIPMO will be looking for stronger commitment from council, above and beyond a letter.

Last year Bega MP Andrew Constance emphasised his personal backing for the Twyford Hall project saying he really needed “council to get behind this 150 per cent”.

“We will be meeting with council and councillors next week and will be urging council to get behind this project,” Mr Beever said.

“We’ve had enthusiastic support from Andrew Constance. We need a similar commitment from council,” he added.

The Bega Valley Regional Art Gallery also applied for funding in round one but was unsuccessful. It is believed that the gallery has also been invited to reapply for funding in round two. Original proposals to move the regional gallery to a new space opposite Merimbula airport were rebuffed by the majority of the community who wished to see it remain in Bega. The gallery is funded by the Bega Valley Shire Council, and the NSW government.

The refined bids are due to be presented for reassessment by mid year. The applications with the highest scores will be funded. Announcements on the successful bids are expected by the end of the year.

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