Grants build on Blues attraction

Tari JeffersManjimup-Bridgetown Times
There are hopes a $204,000 grant will help improve upon the culture in Bridgetown.
Camera IconThere are hopes a $204,000 grant will help improve upon the culture in Bridgetown. Credit: Tari Jeffers

Various Bridgetown community services this week received $385,000 towards improving arts and aged care facilities.

Of the State Government’s Lotterywest funding, $204,148 went to upgrades to the Bridgetown Town Hall and Civic Centre for refurbishments to the facility, which was built in 1936 and had not been upgraded for about 30 years.

The other $181,022 was for improved accessibility at aged care accommodation Geegeelup Village.

Bridgetown-Greenbushes shire president John Nicholas welcomed the funding announcement, which would provide a state-of-the-art facility to fulfil community and civic uses while maintaining its historical importance and heritage values. “The upgrades could be completed in time for the 28th anniversary for Blues event, leading to an immediate boost in visitors to the region, he said. “The upgrades to the Town Hall will allow it to be used as a creative multi-use hub for industry and cultural events, as well as enhancing the capacity of the annual Bridgetown Blues Festival.”

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The Geegeelup grant will be used to improve accessibility of outdoor spaces and social, therapeutic, sensory and dementia-designed areas.

The funding for the Town Hall and Civic Centre will be used to support a bigger project to refurbish the building’s interiors and install new technology to allow for the potential of hosting a range of performing arts, gallery exhibitions and community events.

The grant will provide new lighting and audio, front and back stage curtains, chairs and an art hanging system.

Seniors and Ageing and Volunteering Minister Mick Murray said the funding would assist a much-needed expansion and redevelopment of Geegeelup Village.

“A third of Bridgetown’s population is over 60 — way above the State average of 19 per cent,” he said. “This funding will help Geegeelup Village grow its capacity to meet that need, and provide better support for residents, their families, visitors and volunteers.”

Mr Murray said the upgrades to the Town Hall and Civic Centre would allow Bridgetown to improve its arts and culture offerings.

“With new technology and infrastructure, the town will be able to build on the success of Blues at Bridgetown and the Bridgetown Winter Festival.”

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