Did you know the Barwon Heads Arts & Community Hub Open isn’t allowed to open in the evening?
The building’s current planning permit is more suited to the old kinder than an arts & community hub and was originally submitted by the architects to expediate the build. It restricts use to 33 people and doesn’t allow for use after 6pm, except on 12 occasions a year, which we’ve already used up! With these restrictions, if there’s an arts workshop of 25-30 in the Maker’s Shed the main building must sit empty.
The Barwon Heads Arts Council is in the process of putting in an application to COGG to vary the permit to ensure that it is a better fit for community use.
- This beautiful $1.5 million building is not available for community use after 6pm but after hours is when volunteers and community orgs have time to catch up.
- The community is requesting evening use – evidenced from booking requests and feedback from our local community organisations.
- Our close neighbour, the Senior Citizens Club supports our application (The Senior Citz has no time limitation on its building and can host up to 100 people). Our events rarely coincide, and the total onsite parking is available for each event. We also attract a high rate of pedestrian use at events, as evidenced by the Community Open Day in July and the Bellarine Arts Trail in November 2022.
- Over the last 8 months we have proven that the type of use is compatible with the quiet enjoyment of this residential and community precinct. The Hub is not available as a general events venue (we have other great community spaces like The Hall that do that job). The Hub’s use focusses on art, community and business group meetings, training sessions, art workshops and exhibitions like The Bellarine Arts Trail.
- To remain open The Hub must be financially sustainable – limited hours means limited income. The Hub receives no income support from the COGG. It is managed by a busy team of 8 volunteer committee members and other Hub volunteers who squeeze this job in around their work lives and other responsibilities.
How Can You Help?
If you’d like to see the Hub open longer and available to more than 33 people at a time, please email through a few lines of support with the title LETTER OF SUPPORT to firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be contacting our neighbours to talk more before we put in the formal application – but please get in contact with us if you’d like to chat earlier.