Report: Local Government cultural facilities add value to their communities and economies

Filed : Local and industry news .

The Minister for Local Government, Mr Paul Toole, launched Museums & Galleries of NSW’s (M&G NSW) latest research paper Adding Value! in Bathurst on Friday 1 August.

This research examines the economic impact of the museums, galleries and performing arts centres located in the Evocities of NSW: Albury, Armidale, Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga.


In launching the report at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum in Bathurst on the eve of Local Government Week, Minister Toole said

“This research confirms the great value provided by Local government through the provision of museums, galleries and performing arts centres. Not only do they help mould and shape community identity by supporting local arts workers, and providing access for regional audiences, they also contribute positively to the local and regional economies and provide a positive return on investment for both State and Local government.”

Museums and Galleries of NSW Chief Executive Officer, Michael Rolfe, said:

“This report clearly demonstrates the economic value cultural facilities generate in our major inland cities. And while we also know that cultural programs have a profound and positive impact throughout communities served, it remains their economic value that drives decision making towards providing new and improved facilities.”

The study found that the 26 cultural facilities funded by Local government contributed a total of $61.8 million dollars in goods and services to the combined economies, added $32.35 in value to the combined regional domestic product (RDP) and contributed $15.3 million to household incomes. It also found that for every 10 full time equivalent positions within the facilities, on average an additional 8.5 full time equivalent positions were created across the combined economies.

The Minister for Hospitality, Gaming and Racing, and Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant, said the report from Museums and Galleries of NSW sheds light on the important contribution made by arts and culture to the local economies.

“The programs of these regional galleries, museums and performing arts centres, often with funding support from the NSW government though Arts NSW, provide great opportunities for local communities and tourists to engage, be entertained and participate in the arts.”

The report has been welcomed by the Evocities themselves with Cr Gary Rush, Mayor of Bathurst saying:

“Like many regional cities, Bathurst has made a significant investment in developing a number of unique cultural attractions and museums that have created very special experiences for people visiting the area and importantly helped us preserve, protect and enhance our local heritage.

The release of this recent report adds value to the cultural assets we have here in regional NSW and importantly highlights the great economic benefit that museums, galleries and other cultural attractions can bring to regional cities and why it is so important that we work together to continue to gain support from the State Government and private industry to ensure we do not miss opportunities in the future to see further investment in regional cultural development.”

These thoughts were echoed by other Evocity Mayors with Dubbo’s Mayor, Councilor Mathew
Dickerson saying:

“Cultural institutions are an integral part of our City, providing a number of benefits for both the Dubbo community and our visitors, while also providing a valuable contribution to our local economy. The Old Dubbo Gaol, Western Plains Cultural Centre and Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre are fantastic examples of facilities that promote community cohesion, a sense of identity and place while providing historical education and unique event venues for our community. These cultural institutions also help
contribute to Dubbo’s strong visitor economy.”

The Mayor of Wagga Wagga Cr Rod Kendall said:

“Wagga Wagga has been very pleased to be involved in this study to further understand the
economic significance of cultural facilities, their positive return on investment, and overall impacts on the local and regional economies for our Evocities.”

Further supported by Wagga Wagga’s General Manager Phil Pinyon who said:

“We are appreciative of the work that Museums & Galleries of NSW has undertaken for Evocities and the importance of such collaborative research, along with the on-going relationship between State and Local Government for the cultural and arts sector.”

The full report can be downloaded from:

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