Young people in Nambucca Heads will soon have a vibrant creative space in which to read, sketch and perform, with Nambucca Heads Library to establish a cultural precinct following a $1.5 million grant from the NSW Government’s Regional Cultural Fund.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro was joined today by Minister for Arts Don Harwin and Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey to announce the grant to transform disused space between the library, Nambucca Community Hall and Stringer Gallery into a cultural hub.

Mr Barilaro said Nambucca Heads Library is one of the community’s most important cultural facilities, but there has long been a shortage of local venues with the capacity and amenity to host arts and culture workshops, exhibitions and events for youth.

“This $1.5 million grant will help to create a cultural haven with nearly double the capacity of Nambucca Heads Library, allowing more people to engage for the first time in quality visual and performing arts classes, digital and literary arts and interactive learning in a safe environment,” Mr Barilaro said.

“This is great news for the Nambucca community, especially young people who have no shortage of sports-related activities to choose from, but when it comes to culture and learning, have had limited options.

“From ‘mums and bubs’ reading sessions to craft classes, public libraries and their programs support learning, literacy and knowledge sharing, fostering a lifelong love of learning and setting up our youth up to thrive in regional NSW.”

Mr Harwin said the Nambucca Library upgrade is the first of 56 projects that will receive a share of $47 million under round two of the Regional Cultural Fund, which included up to $5 million specifically for regional public library infrastructure projects.

“Art, screen, culture, music and performance are at the heart and soul of regional NSW and these kinds of projects will provide even more opportunities for locals to enjoy entertaining and educational experiences,” Mr Harwin said.

“Importantly, they provide artists with new opportunities to showcase innovative and quality works and allow visitors to experience a diverse range of arts and activities while generating social, economic and tourism benefits across the state.

“By improving and supporting local art galleries, libraries and artist-led public art we are making towns and cities across regional NSW dynamic and exciting places to be.”

Ms Pavey said the $1.5 million will be met with a $501,776 contribution from Nambucca Shire Council to complete the project, which will also see new technology introduced through high speed Wi-Fi and computer access as well as new exhibition spaces and more places to sit and study.

“It is a pleasure to see how this funding will help to revitalise a well-loved community asset, ensuring the library remains an interesting place for the whole community and appeals to those who perhaps haven’t visited before,” Ms Pavey said.

“There are obvious benefits for our youth, but by also ensuring more quiet study space, room for lectures and access to modern digital technology we expect to see greater visitation across people of all ages and cultural backgrounds and interests.”

The Regional Cultural Fund is part of the NSW Government’s $1.6 billion Regional Growth Fund, designed to improve economic growth and productivity as well as community amenity with investment in regional communities.

For more information about the Regional Cultural Fund, see the website.