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  • Lithgow Cultural Precinct Study

    Developed by Lithgow City Council

    SCAPE ART

    Prepared by Artscape in association with Hill PDA

    Supported by Xstrata Coal - Corporate Social Involvement Program

    February 2010

  • The Lithgow Cultural Precinct Study has been developed by Lithgow City Council with financial support from Xstrata Coal, through its Corporate Social Involvement Program.

    The Cultural Precinct Study was prepared by Artscape in association with Hill PDA.

    Report Prepared for Lithgow City Council

    Lithgow City Council PO Box 19 180 Mort Street, Lithgow NSW 2790 www.lithgow.nsw.gov.au

    Version: Final Date: 22 February 2010

  • report authors The Cultural Precinct Study was prepared by Artscape in Association with Hill PDA.

    artscape Artscape is a leading Australian art, place and culture consultancy, delivering comprehensive art advisory, cultural planning and placemaking services for both public and private sector clients.

    Artscape’s approach is collaborative and integrative, with an emphasis on bringing together skills and approaches from a range of disciplines in a complementary and project specific way. Artscape specialises in speaking the languages of art, design, government and business with the aim of enriching the Australian cultural landscape.

    www.artscapeconsulting.com.au

    Hill PDa Hill PDA is a specialist property consulting firm with a highly skilled and experienced team of land economists, valuers and urban planners.

    Established in 1990, Hill PDA has successfully gained an enviable reputation for professional, unbiased and independent advice. Today Hill PDA is respected for its creative, diligent and balanced approach to all facets of its consultancy activities. The strengths of the practice are derived from its depth and breadth of experience, multidisciplinary expertise and determination to ensure the highest level of professionalism and integrity.

    At the heart of the Hill PDA service is independence, integrity and creativity. It is a service that reflects experience, enthusiasm and dedication. It is a service that provides the advantage of a fully integrated multi disciplinary capability.

    www.hillpda.com

  • Contents Part A: At A glance - A Summary of the Cultural Precinct Study

    Introduction 9 Strengths & Opportunities 10 Areas for Improvement 11 Guiding Principles 12 Key Recommendations 13 Summary of Recommendations 14

    Part B: Cultural Precinct Study Section 1. Study Introduction 17

    1.1 Introduction 18 1.2 Study Aims 19 1.3 Definition of Cultural Industries 20 1.4 Cultural Precinct Study Area 21 1.5 Methodology 23

    Section 2. Lithgow & the Cultural Industries 2.1 Economic & Social Profile of Lithgow 25

    2.1.a Population Growth 25 2.1.b Key Demographic Characteristics 26 2.1.d Persons with a Workplace in Lithgow 28 2.1.e Implications for Lithgow 29

    2.2 Culture & Regeneration 30 2.2.a Sheffield Cultural Industries Quarter 30

    2.2.b Fremantle 32 2.2.c Central Victorian Live Arts Incubator 34 2.2.d Newcastle 34 2.2.e Metro Arts, Brisbane 35

    2.3 Cultural Industries in Lithgow 38 2.3.1 Cultural Industries Mapping 38 2.3.2 Cultural Sector Consultation 45

    2.4 Tourism Profile and Opportunities 48 2.4.a Tourism Attractions in Lithgow 48 2.4.b Visitors to Lithgow 49 2.4.c Tourism Businesses in Lithgow 52 2.4.d Niche Tourism 53 2.4.e Cultural Tourism 55 2.4.f Events Tourism 57 2.4.g Implications for Lithgow 58

  • Section 3. Cultural Precinct Assessment 3.1 History, Status and SWOT 62

    3.1 a. Lake Pillans Wetlands 62 3.1 b. Blast Furnace Park 65 3.1 c. Eskbank House Museum 68 3.1 d. Eskbank Railway Station Complex 71 3.1 e. The Union Theatre 74 3.1 f. Charles H. Hoskins Memorial Literary Institute 78 3.1 g. Top of Main Street 81

    3.2 Cultural Precinct SWOT Analysis 84 3.3 Precinct Assessment Conclusions 86

    Section 4. Cultural Precinct Strategy

    4.1 Strategic Framework 88 4.2 Recommendations 91

    4.2.1 Recommendation 1 92 4.2.2 Recommendation 2 96 4.2.3 Recommendation 3 103 4.2.4 Recommendation 4 114 4.2.5 Recommendation 5 118 4.2.6 Recommendation 6 125 4.2.7 Recommendation 7 130 4.2.8 Recommendation 8 132

    4.3 Other Funding Mechanisms 134 4.4 Staging Priorities 136 4.5 Conclusion 137

    References 138 Part C: Appendices

    Appendix A. Consultation Findings 141 Appendix B. Demographic Data 152 Appendix C. Survey Results 160

  • The following document is in three parts:

    Part A: At A Glance Provides a summary of the findings and recommendations of the Cultural Precinct Study.

    Part B: Cultural Precinct Study Report Is the in-depth report on the processes, findings and recommendations developed through the Cultural Precinct Study.

    Part C: Appendices Comprises supporting documentation to the Cultural Precinct Study Report.

  • PArt A: At A Glance A Summary of the Lithgow Cultural Precinct Study

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    Page 8Lithgow Cultural Precinct Study prepared by Artscape in Association with Hill PDA for Lithgow City Council Final Issued 22.02.10

    “Municipalities that adopt culture as an industry have gained positive economic benefits for their communities. Cultural industries create job growth, turn ordinary cities into “destination cities,” create interconnections between arts and business, revitalize urban areas, attract skilled workers, and create spin- off businesses.” (Creative City Network of Canada)

    A key strategy to support the growth of cultural industries is to cluster cultural activities and businesses around a central geographic hub. This clustering approach creates momentum and visibility for the cultural sector and can become a magnet for visitors and local people alike.

    This study examined the potential for such a cultural precinct in Lithgow.

    The Lithgow Cultural Precinct Study has been developed by Lithgow City Council with financial support from Xstrata Coal, through its Corporate Social Involvement Program. The Cultural Precinct Study was prepared by Artscape in association with Hill PDA.

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    Page 9Lithgow Cultural Precinct Study prepared by Artscape in Association with Hill PDA for Lithgow City Council Final Issued 22.02.10

    Cultural Precinct Introduction In 2008 Lithgow City Council completed a Cultural Plan for the period 2008 to 2013. A key program of the Cultural Plan was the development of a Cultural Precinct in Lithgow. The first step toward that is represented by this study, which was developed to appraise the current functioning of the key sites and venues within the study area and, from this basis, examine how a viable Cultural Precinct may be most effectively supported.

    The Cultural Precinct Study found that there is a high proportion of Private Enterprise or For-Profit Cultural Industry organisations or entities currently operating across the Lithgow LGA. This indicates the presence of a spirit of cultural entrepreneurship. This factor, coupled with the finding that Community Based/Run or Not-For-Profit entities form the second highest proportion of cultural organisations indicates that there is a capacity that could form the basis of cultural sector support for a Cultural Precinct. Additional factors conducive to the development of a Cultural Precinct include the high concentration of historic/heritage sites and buildings; proximity to established tourism destinations; and existing cultural infrastructure assets within the precinct area.

    During the course of the study, it was noted that many groups, organisations and individuals within the community were working on projects and proposals across the precinct study area. Not only is the passion of these groups a positive indication of an active cultural sector, but it was also encouraging that all proposals were compatible with the development of a Cultural Precinct. Furthermore, the development of a Cultural Precinct will likely support the activities of these organisations. In turn, the umbrella concept of a Cultural Precinct can provide motivation and a rationale for many cultural sector projects.

    Lake Pillans

    Wetland

    Blast Furnace

    Park

    Eskbank House

    Museum

    Eskbank Station

    Union Theatre & Hoskins BuildingTop of Main

    Street Key

    Cultural Precinct Study Area

    Cultural Precinct Study area

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    Page 10Lithgow Cultural Precinct Study prepared by Artscape in Association with Hill PDA for Lithgow City Council Final Issued 22.02.10

    Cultural PrecinctStrengths & Opportunities

    Eskbank House Museum & Grounds

    The Union Theatre

    Blast Furnace Park

    Heritage Rail Network could be a potential tourism generator; link precinct sites; & connect to the Zig Zag Railway.

    Proximity to two World Heritage Areas & other areas of significant natural beauty.

    Access to Sydney & the weekend traveller market, with an interest in cultural & eco tourism.

    A spirit of cultural entrepreneurship.

    Existing cultural infrastructure assets within the precinct area.

    Lithgow Pottery collection

    Lake Pillans Wetland

    Eskbank Station

    Important historic sites

    Heritage buildings

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