Feasibility study for new SAM given go-ahead

Greater Shepparton City Council has approved the proposal to conduct a detailed feasibility study to look at options for a stand-alone Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) to progress into the future at the Council meeting last night.

The proposed feasibility study will investigate site examination, demand analysis, financial modelling and business planning, project scoping, concept design and costings, and governance options for a new museum.

The feasibility study will provide Council with a comprehensive business case to make an informed decision about the viability and substance of a new stand-alone SAM. A detailed feasibility study is also a requirement for future state government investment in infrastructure.

Council will contribute up to $125,000 to the study and will seek matched funding from the Regional Development Victoria's (RDV) Developing Stronger Regions Program.

GSCC Mayor, Jenny Houlihan says whilst the current SAM meets museum standards, exhibition space is restricted and storage facilities inadequate. "SAM is a small facility which limits the growth and programming of the Museum and its collection," said Cr Houlihan. "Storage space is at capacity even though 70 square metres were taken from exhibition space in 2011, which in turn has restricted the space available for display."

"Since the redevelopment in 2011 SAM has enjoyed an increased public profile and visits, and was named Victoria's best small museum in 2012. It was also named as a best practice case study in arts branding and community and cultural development by Arts Victoria and the Melbourne Business School in 2013."

Cr Houlihan said a new SAM could be an architectural landmark for the city and would be based on informed recommendations from the feasibility study. "It could focus on Australian ceramics, indigenous and contemporary Australian art and could also host international exhibitions and provide an educational and cultural program to engage diverse communities," she said.

"A new SAM could assist in an arts-led economic and social recovery for the region by providing a major cultural tourist attraction encouraging people to visit and invest in the region."

Shepparton Art Museum is proudly provided by Greater Shepparton City Council, located at 70 Welsford Street, Shepparton, and is open 7 days from 10am to 4pm (public holidays 1pm to 4pm).
For general SAM enquiries and bookings please contact: (03) 5832 9861, email art.museum@shepparton.vic.gov.au, or visit www.sheppartonartmuseum.com.au for more information.

Image: SAM Director Kirsten Paisley and Greater Shepparton Mayor Jenny Houlihan in the current art museum collection store.

For more information please contact SAM on (03) 5832 9861.