After three phases of intensive community consultation, Ballarat City Council has voted on its commitment to Ballarat becoming one of Australia’s leading and sustainable creative cities at its May 15 meeting.
Ballarat’s Creative City Strategy and Ballarat’s Creative City Strategy Precinct Master Plan was approved at the Council meeting, developed after capturing the passion and dedication of the creative sector – from individual artist to fully fledged creative sector businesses and organisation.
Council recognises the creative sector needs consistency, rather than short term measures, and this has placed economic health and sustainability right at the centre of the Creative City Strategy. The Creative City Strategy is about assisting in the incubation, establishment and sustainability of the creative individual and sectors.
Ballarat has always been a creative city. Throughout time we have always had a space and place for music, the arts and the maker. Today we are hub of activity in visual arts and crafts, a home for live music and theatre. Into the future Council wants to see these continue to flourish and grow and be able to weather economic pressures. We want to see new industries establish themselves. It goes without saying Ballarat needs both a strong network, and fertile ground for new artists and creatives to emerge. The Creative City Strategy is designed to help deliver just that.
Embedding creativity at the heart of our city means we are helping to future proof the integrity of our economy. The future of strong cities is based on how good their ideas are. In 2016, Ballarat’s creative economy was valued at $747 million and employed almost 2,000 people.
The strategy and the master plan aim to consolidate Ballarat as an internationally notable centre for arts and culture through increasing creative participation, attracting and supporting creative talent and developing a world class creative industry and precinct.
Ballarat’s Creative City Strategy aims to:
- Maintain and enhance a leading arts and culture core
- Extend the reach of arts and culture, creative initiatives and design thinking across the wider Ballarat community
- Attract and retain the best and brightest of all creative sectors to the city and support them in their growth and development
- Provide connections between creative sectors, industry, institutions and individuals to create new, or refine existing, markets and innovations
- Monitor the economic, cultural and social impact of arts and culture initiatives upon the community, track the growth of new initiatives and measure the wider wellbeing and cohesion impact.
The Creative Precinct Master Plan is an accompanying document to the Creative City Strategy, and directly delivers on the intention to create a world-class creative precinct.
Ballarat’s creative precinct, centred around Lydiard Street, is already our civic and cultural heart, and is also witnessing the emergence of some incredible technical and entrepreneurial activity.
The master plan is again based on the consultation process which took place throughout 2018, and it makes recommendations for future improvements to our precinct’s public realm and reimagined use of some of its buildings and spaces. The master plan outlines a vision for a precinct which will be a welcoming place for people to live, create, study and visit. Varied and adaptable streets and public spaces will support a broad program of activities, showcasing the city’s assets and expressing the creative energy of its community.