This is the plan that will make Coffs a better place

CULTURE plays a central role in the economic, social and arts fabric of Coffs Harbour's life - and a new cultural strategic plan aims to build on those strengths to make the area even more attractive as a place to live and visit.

"The arts and culture is one of the key elements of a community. It's crucial to the way we identify with ourselves and others and it's vital to our well-being," said Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight.

"It's also a very important economic driver that has the potential to build our local economy and our reputation as a North Coast regional centre."

The goal of the proposed Cultural Strategic Plan 2017-2022 is to:

Be a blueprint for vibrant living that will recognise the central role of arts and culture in making our region such a great place to live, work and visit.

Explore the economic, social and cultural well-being of our community in relation to arts, creativity, heritage and our shared cultural experience.

Guide cultural investment and activity and inform planning, programming and funding priorities.

Consider the viability of a new performing arts centre in the region.

Support the vision of our artists and creative industries professionals.​

An important component of the proposed plan is to assess the potential strategic impacts and benefits of a new performing arts centre in the region - and a community and stakeholder consultation process is planned. Council has engaged Positive Solutions, a company with specialist expertise in cultural planning and development to run the consultation.

Stage 1 will develop a new draft Cultural Strategic Plan 2017-2022 and Cultural Policy for public comment and will include an issues and options paper on a possible performing arts and conference centre.

Stage 2 will include a full economic and financial feasibility study for both the performance and conferencing functions through a needs analysis, user requirements, market research, ongoing day-to-day maintenance and management costs, recommendation of the appropriate size and design of the facility, profit and loss considerations and economic and cultural impacts on the region.

Stage 1 has begun with meetings with key stakeholders. An online survey for the wider community is to begin on June 15, with a public meeting planned for July 12 at 6pm at the Jetty Memorial Theatre.

There will be displays in the foyer of Council's Administration building, the Jetty Memorial Theatre, local libraries and Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery during the consultation where people can also submit their ideas.

Advertisements in the local press will provide more detail on the consultation process, plus information​ is also available online.

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