Our Place will be a modern, two-storey building on Monash Drive, located near the PS Gem. Funding has been secured, and Council is now working with architects and key stakeholders on final designs.
We don’t have a name for the building yet – but for now we’ll call it Our Place.
Our Place will include:
- Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery
- Swan Hill Region Information Centre
- Pioneer Settlement entry
- A new Aboriginal experience
- Dedicated workshop and meeting spaces
- A bush tucker garden
- New, landscaped public spaces around the PS Gem and near the river
Frequently asked questions
Council has successfully advocated for funding for a wide range of projects in recent years – for roads, sport facilities, the Swan Hill bridge and hospital.
We have also been working with the gallery team for many years to advocate for a new gallery building. The gallery is renowned for its collection, community engagement and outreach programs. It needs a modern space that befits that work, and that is large enough to store its valuable collection.
Incorporating the gallery into a modern, shared facility will be a cost saving for Council and the community, and provide an iconic, central space for creativity, culture and tourism.
The new building creates a new Pioneer Settlement entry - a goal that
Council has had for many years.
It allows us to custom-design a modern information centre that caters to tourists in the digital age, like others are doing right around Australia.
It allows us to tell stories of our Aboriginal culture.
It will further activate the riverfront area - a plus for locals and visitors. It will also open up spaces to the general public around the PS Gem that are currently only available to Pioneer Settlement visitors.
A professional architect has been appointed to progress the approved concept plans to detailed building designs.
This detailed design phase will include some engagement with direct stakeholders and with the wider community.
More information about this process will be available on Council’s website
and social media channels.
Half of the funding for Our Place is from the Federal Government, from a fund focussed on "major transformational projects that support long term economic growth and create jobs". The other half is from Council.
Modelling shows that Our Place will directly contribute $3.2 million to the local economy annually, as well as stimulating an additional $2.7 million of activity.
The modern building will make a statement about Swan Hill, about our progression into a mature and modern rural city.
Having a modern building as the Settlement's entrance will make the experience of stepping back in time very clear and defined, and will enhance the visitor experience. There are many examples of historic tourist attractions moving this way.
Having this new building as part of the Settlement will provide undercover, climate controlled spaces for visitors in summer and winter—something that today's visitors need and expect.
As part of the Federal funding, $1 million has been allocated to upgrade the parking and road in Monash Drive.
Currently, there is capacity for about 45 vehicles to park along the road on Monash Drive.
A concept for upgraded parking is being designed and will include about 35 extra sealed angle car parks on Monash Drive along the railway line, plus dedicated long vehicle parking for buses and cars towing caravans, a pedestrian crossing across Monash Drive and wide footpaths on both sides of Monash Drive.
Council leases the current information centre building. Moving the information centre into this new, Council - owned building will save money in the long term.
It will also allow our information centre to transform into a more modern information centre, like others across Australia.
Our Place will become a central hub for tourism, as the entrance to the Settlement, the home of the Gallery and a new Aboriginal experience, plus there will be ample car, caravan and bus parking, making it easier to access than the existing building.
The centre will still sell tickets for all shows as it does now, as well as tickets for the Settlement and Heartbeat of the Murray.
We know the current gallery building was a community effort. It was opened in 1987, the result of a tireless community campaign to raise funds and lobby for government support.
It is a beautiful building and with recent improvements, is ideal for commercial or community use. We don't know what that use will be yet, but Council has no intention to demolish the building. We want the use to further activate this developing precinct.
The Swan Hill bridge and Our Place will both happen - it is not a case of one or the other.
Funding for Our Place is from the Federal Government for "major transformational projects that support long - term economic growth and create jobs". It is new money that Council worked hard to achieve – we joined with six neighbouring councils in Victoria and New South Wales to attract $16.8 million for riverfront projects. The councils will match the Federal contribution.
While we were applying for this funding, Council continued advocacy for a new Swan Hill bridge. The Federal Government has committed $60 million and Council is working with Murray River Council, RMS and VicRoads to finalise a location for a new bridge.
Latest news about Our Place
- The future location of the Pioneer Settlement’s steam train has been a talking point for our community.
- At the Ordinary Council Meeting this week , Swan Hill Rural City Council approved concept designs for the new two-storey building on Monash Drive, near the PS Gem.
- Swan Hill will get its iconic new art gallery and interpretive centre, thanks to an announcement from Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack today.
- If you are one of the 674 business operators in the Swan Hill and Lake Boga areas, I encourage you to give us your thoughts on the special rate for marketing and business development.