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Regional Arts Development Central West NSW

Cowra Civic Centre Embarks on a Spectacular Transformation with $1.5 Million Grant


The Cowra Civic Centre, Cowra’s premier multi-purpose centre, is on the brink of a grand transformation, thanks to the generosity of a $1.5 million grant from the Creative Capital Funding Program, provided by the NSW State Government and contractors Conseth Pty Ltd and Maxwood Technology, appointed to deliver the project.

media release from Cowra Shire Council 6 November 2023

The refurbishment project is set to enhance the experience for audiences and the community, becoming a shining cultural beacon in the region. The focal point of this remarkable project is the replacement of the main auditorium seating with retractable raked seating, providing superior seating with improved views of the stage for all patrons. It will also extend the flat floor space, enhancing the flexibility of the space for a wide variety of events and performances. Moreover, the project will elevate the Civic Centre’s offerings to a higher standard, ensuring a world-class experience for patrons and visiting companies alike.

Cowra Shire Council Mayor Ruth Fagan expressed her excitement about the forthcoming changes, stating, “The Cowra Civic Centre has long been a cultural centrepiece for our community, and these renovations will ensure it remains a place of artistic excellence and community connection. This grant is a testament to the commitment of the NSW State Government and the Cowra community to investing in the growth and cultural vitality of our region.”

Civic Centre Manager Jarrad Shiells added, “This refurbishment is a game-changer for the Cowra Civic Centre. The retractable raked seating and expanded flat floor space will offer unparalleled flexibility, allowing us to host a wide range of events, from Cowra Eisteddfod performances, Cowra M&D, Breakout and Festival of Understanding related events to visiting productions and concerts.”

The refurbishment project comprises three key components: Flooring: This involves the removal of existing flooring, ramps, and platforms, as well as the installation of new concrete flooring, ramps, carpeting, and a revamped floor. This contract has been awarded to Conseth Pty Ltd, a regionally based company. Installation of Retractable Raked Seating: The contract for this component has been awarded to Maxwood Technology, the sole supplier capable of meeting the grant’s specific requirements. This feature will revolutionise the seating arrangement and audience experience.

Mezzanine Level Installation: The mezzanine level, designed as a catwalk, will be added to the back of the auditorium and will house the new location of the sound and lighting desk. Council is currently in discussions with a locally based supplier for this part of the project.

“Conseth Pty Ltd are doing the flooring and at this point we are in the process of formalising the third contractor, Chernco Engineering for the mezzanine level. Chernco is a Cowra based firm and have an outstanding reputation for quality work,” said Mayor Fagan.

All components of the project are poised to elevate the Cowra Civic Centre to a higher standard, providing an enriched experience for all patrons.

“The timeline for the project is set to commence on January 27, 2024, with completion in time for the Cowra Eisteddfod, which commences on May 13, 2024. During this time, the main auditorium will be temporarily closed. However, Council aims to continue operating its Theatrette with movie screenings and offer services at the lobby bar and coffee/snack area to ensure that community engagement and enjoyment continue uninterrupted,” added Mr Shiells.

“We have plenty planned for 2024 once the new centre reopens including the MICF Roadshow returning again, Jimeoin, Intertwined by Lusi Austin, and much more and we can’t wait to see you back there when we re-open!

IMAGE Civic Centre manager Jarrad Shiells is excited about the new renovations at the Cowra Civic Centre and what it means for the program in 2024.