Maleny Community Centre supporters have celebrated their successful grant application to complete building renovations following a $1.65 million boost under Round One of the Regional Development Australia (RDA) Fund.
RDA Sunshine Coast Deputy Chair Mr Malcolm Graham OAM unveiled a commemorative plaque on Monday night, marking the start of stage two refurbishment plans.
The funding will contribute towards the Centre’s $1.72 million Social Enterprise Capacity Building Renovation to service the town’s ongoing cultural and social needs.
Refurbishment plans include a concert-ready modern main hall, installation of solar power and water tanks plus modern performance technology with broadband internet access. It will also create several rentable retail spaces to guarantee the centre’s financial sustainability.
A $580,000 upgrade was completed in 2010, including the replacement of asbestos walls, substantial upgrade of the rear of the building and provision of a main stage “green” room.
Mr Graham said the centre’s expanded facilities would foster new community and social enterprises in areas such as events management, performing and visual arts, cultural tourism and hospitality.
“This project will provide employment opportunities to local musicians, writers, actors, sound engineers, designers and printers.”
Maleny Community Centre President Heather Spring said the centre hosted more than 1000 events and activities in the past year.
“We have been turning away a minimum of two booking a week due to inadequate facilities, poor access and lack of spaces. These improvements will bring new events and functions to the region and benefit local businesses,” she said.
“The project will make Maleny Community Centre Inc financially self-sustaining and ensure there are no future funding requests to Sunshine Coast Council.”
Maleny Community Centre was one of seven Queensland projects to be funded in Round One of the RDA Fund program.
Mr Graham said the Fund supported regional projects, including economic, social or community infrastructure which expanded the development and growth of regional economies.
The Australian Government’s RDA Fund provides $1 billion over five years to support regional development initiatives through councils and not-for-profit organisations.