THE City of Parramatta Council and the NSW Government last week announced they will deliver a new arts and cultural precinct on a site next to the Parramatta River, which will include a new flagship Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) and an enlarged and enhanced Riverside Theatres.
City of Parramatta Council Administrator, Amanda Chadwick, welcomed the announcement and said it will deliver a renewed focus on arts and culture for greater Western Sydney.
"Driven by culture, Parramatta will be a world-class city known for its diversity and its energy, with people, ideas and creativity at its core. This commitment signals the start of a cultural evolution that will be truly transformative for Parramatta and the region," Ms Chadwick said.
"The community has told us they want a world-class cultural institution focused on science and education here in Parramatta.
"The new precinct will deliver this, anchored by a flagship museum and world-class theatre that will draw audiences from across greater Sydney and beyond.
"It will create new opportunities for students and young people from across the region to experience arts, culture, science and innovation without needing to travel to the Sydney CBD.
"Our agreement with the Government will also ensure Riverside Theatres reaches its full potential, with $100 million to be invested in enlarging and upgrading the Theatres under an equal joint venture arrangement with the NSW Government.
"This long-held policy, which was formally endorsed by Council in 2014, will ensure the future of this much-loved cultural facility."
The cultural precinct is predicted to be both a local and an international tourist destination with the potential to draw up to one million visitors a year. Deloitte estimate the precinct will deliver at least $106 million in today's dollars and 150 jobs boost for the region.
City of Parramatta Council established an Expert Steering Committee to provide advice to Council during the negotiations.
The new Museum will be built on Riverbank, a site otherwise known to locals as the old David Jones carpark site.