Narooma School of Arts will receive two grants from the NSW Government totaling $101,619 toward the final stages of its $300,000 project to upgrade and revitalize the Memorial Hall, which operates as the Kinema.
Member for Bega Andrew Constance visited last week for the announcement and said it was “simply fantastic” that the management committee had secured these grants to enable this work to be done.
Committee spokesperson Laurelle Pacey said the committee was “absolutely delighted” with the news and with the Government’s support.
The first grant secured was $53,964 through the NSW War Memorial Grants Program in the Community Development Fund. The hall is the town’s memorial to its First World War soldiers.
“The War Memorials Grant is towards a large wraparound awning to provide more undercover space for patrons, repairs to the exterior and repainting in art deco colours, and restoration of the granite plaques on the front façade, all under the guidance of the shire’s heritage consultant,” Ms Pacey said.
This application was supported by Narooma RSL Sub-Branch.
The second, a $47,655 grant from the NSW Arts Regional Capital program, will include the construction of usable wing space on the stage and dressing rooms as well as contribute to the awning costs.
Mr Constance said Regional Capital funding supported important small-scale infrastructure projects that maintained resources and facilities and built community participation in arts and cultural activities.
“This funding category encourages collaboration and partnerships in the regions, with NSW Government support being matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis with other funding from local government, community groups and organisations,” he said.
Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said the Government was helping revitalise arts and cultural facilities across NSW to ensure people can experience diverse activities regardless of where they live.
Ms Pacey said Narooma’s Memorial Hall was now 90 years old.
“The management committee is part way through an ambitious program to enhance it so it functions better as a venue for film and live performances, as well as to improve patron comfort,” she said.
“We’re currently renovating the bathrooms and hallway downstairs in art deco style, the era when the hall was built. It will be completed in the next week or so.”
She said the committee still needed to raise money from the community to complete the project, hopefully also from donations from Kinema patrons put into the Kinema Kate mannequin in the hall’s foyer.
The management committee leases the community-owned hall to independent cinema operators, John and Janette Griffiths.