A $28.5 million development application to upgrade facilities at Bundanon Trust’s Riversdale complex has been lodged with Shoalhaven City Council.
The master plan application, which will ultimately have to be approved by the Joint Regional Planning Panel, aims to upgrade facilities, construct three new buildings as well as associated parking, access and landscaping works, and refurbishment some existing buildings and demolition of others.
The three new buildings are a Creative Learning Centre (forming the likely first stage of the masterplan), accommodation building and catering building.
The proposal will provide accommodation, education, recreation, entertainment and related uses targeted at increasing visitation and public accessibility to the site.
The application by Cinnamon Dunsford Locale Consulting said the the changes would generate greater revenue for the Bundanon Trust to ensure its sustainability over time and enable the registered charity to meet demand for its services and programs, targeted to regional communities and particularly regional youth arts.
The 1100 hectare Bundanon and Riversdale properties were given to the nation by the world renowned artist Arthur Boyd and his wife Yvonne in 1993 and are one of the most significant acts of philanthropy in the history of arts in Australia.
The proposal is designed to achieve the mission of the Bundanon Trust to “support arts practice and engagement with the arts through its residency, education, exhibition and performance programs. In preserving the natural and cultural heritage of its site Bundanon also promotes the value of landscape in all our lives”.
Specifically, the masterplan will create a safe and defendable gallery space for Bundanon’s unique art collection; expand opportunities for children, artists and the public to access education and arts based programs; continue to strengthen the cultural attractions and events sector in the Shoalhaven; and generate revenue for the future economic sustainability of the Bundanon Trust and the Shoalhaven region.
Riversdale is located off Riversdale Road in Illaroo, on the Shoalhaven River, 13km to the west of the Nowra town centre.
The new buildings include a creative learning centre incorporating a reception area, Boyd art collection storage, collection display / gallery space, multi-purpose lecture room, multi-purpose wet/dry workshop, small auditorium (black/white box), single office for CEO and open plan office space for 20 staff, staff room/meeting rooms and car park under the building.
The accommodation building has a reception area, with a secure bag store - 32 rooms (for double or twin bed setup) each with an ensuite bathroom, dining area for 64 people, outdoor terrace area, self catering kitchen, housekeeping and general storage areas, access road and bus parking area.
The catering building will have a commercial kitchen for on-site catering, kitchen stores, dry, cold, freezer and waste, café seating for 30 inside and 30 outside, guest laundry, general store and two bedroom caretaker unit.
The existing Riversdale homestead will also be refurbished and upgraded, including the establishment of a permanent information and site interpretation centre, meeting rooms and small scale homestead accommodation.
An existing storage / work sheds to the north of the main site will be demolished.
Approximately 113 car parking will be provided, including under the creative learning centre (approximately 50 spaces), an open car park to the east of the existing facilities (approximately 50 spaces above ground – primarily for events) and approximately 13 car spaces would behind the creative learning centre for staff and servicing purposes.
The new facilities will enable the trust to meet the growing demand from key clients and other users because of the success and popularity of its arts-related programs with education groups (primary and secondary schools and universities); artists and arts organisations (visual art, dance, literature, music, performing arts); commercial customers (weddings and similar functions, corporate seminars); community groups (amateur art and craft societies); and others tourists and casual visitors.