Dollars support music to the cons

COFFS Harbour Conservatorium is pleading for immediate support for its building program from Coffs Harbour City Council.

Conservatorium director, Carol Hellmers, addressed Thursday's meeting of Coffs Harbour City Council, saying the Conservatorium, which has more than 500 students, would celebrate its 25th anniversary this year and had seen student numbers treble since 2003.

She said without support from the council the Conservatorium stood to lose almost $1m in pledged funding from a private donor and the NSW Department of Education and Training.

The lease on the Con's current HomeBase premises will expire in February.

“I know dollars are tight but we need support in kind,” Ms Hellmers said. “Any support would be greatly appreciated, but we need it now.”

The conservatorium's planned $2.4m program involves buying the former nightclub and bar building beside the BCC Cinemas in Bray Street and converting it into a three-level teaching and performance centre.

The work would create a new 175-seat performance venue as well as teaching and rehearsal spaces, studios and offices

The plea comes as Regional Arts NSW is calling for an audit of cultural infrastructure outside the metropolitan area.

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