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Regional Arts Development Central West NSW

BARN: Bathurst to be the home of the performing arts

BARN announce 1

Bathurst will be home to a world-class performing arts residency facility thanks to a $4.78 million investment from the NSW Government through the Creative Capital funding program.

Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said the funding will see the development of a Bathurst Arts Residency NSW (BARN) facility, providing new opportunities for the community to engage in vibrant arts and cultural experiences.

“This is a significant cultural infrastructure project for Bathurst that will shape its future as a destination for arts and culture in NSW and enhance experiences for artists, locals and visitors alike,” Mr Toole said.

“To be built at the picturesque Ben Chifley Dam, the targeted BARN will create a space for regional, metropolitan and international artists to gather and develop their works, complete with on-site group catering facilities and a rehearsal space to perfect performing arts pieces.”

Minister for the Arts Ben Franklin said The BARN will help achieve the NSW Government’s vision for an inclusive and accessible arts sector that supports artists to create vibrant and dynamic work.

“With purpose-built facilities for dance, circus, music and theatre, The BARN will form a critical part of NSW’s creative infrastructure by supporting artists to create innovative new work,” Mr Franklin said.

“Cultural equity is at the heart of the NSW Government’s Creative Capital program and thanks to a $72 million investment, supporting 23 projects– more projects like this can realise their ambitions by providing more people with access to world-class arts and culture, no matter where they live in the state.”

Bathurst Regional Council Mayor Robert Taylor said this is another step in the development of cultural facilities in the region.

“This will be an integral part in the vision to develop a sustainable arts culture in the region and the central west and I thank Minister Ben Franklin and Deputy Premier Paul Toole for the allocation of funding,” Cr Taylor said.

Further details on the Creative Capital program are available on the Create NSW website at


A place:

  • where regional, remote, metropolitan and international artists and community
    members gather to develop exceptional performing arts ventures.
  • where regional location inspires transformational performing arts practice.
  • to focus, dream, share and be inspired.
  • which places the Bathurst Region at the centre of international performing arts

“The Council-owned and operated Chifley Dam facility, some 20 kilometres south of athurst on the edge of the town’s main water supply storage, offers an opportunity to add value and productivity to a significant Council asset while developing a nationally important facility and program in the performing arts at low cost.

The proposal is to construct a versatile, purpose built, rehearsal and fabrication studio with on-site group catering facilities. This space, along with the existing cabin accommodation, can be made available for performing arts companies nationally for residential rehearsal and development periods to create and develop new performing arts projects.”

Construction of the BARN facility has been costed by Quantity Surveyors at $4.8 million.

The project has progressed through the Create NSW Creative Capital Expression of Interest phase and now awaits the result of the final funding round.

Bathurst Regional Council has committed land for the build and access to the existing cabin accommodation.

52 letters of support have been provided from across the nation from individuals, the small to medium sector and major performing arts organisations.


“To develop the full potential of a Performing Arts Residency Program by constructing a multi-purpose workshop space with on-site group catering facilities for residencies by local, national and international performing arts groups and individuals at the Ben Chifley Dam.

This strategy will:
a. develop an internationally recognised centre for the development of new arts content;
b. maximise the potential of the existing residential cabin accommodation;
c. provide affordable on-site accommodation during the residency period;
d. provide a flexible rehearsal/performance space suited to a wide range of performing arts styles;
e. ensure the facility will have the potential for use by non-performing arts activities when not used for its primary function.”