The Clarence Valley Conservatorium in Grafton is one of 12 projects to share in over $1.8 million in funding across the Clarence and Richmond Valley councils under the latest round of the NSW Nationals in Government’s $400 million Stronger Country Communities Fund.

Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis said the purpose-built regional conservatorium, built in the 1980’s, had been successful in securing $119,233 under the Fund.

“The Conservatorium has over 900 students coming through its doors on a weekly basis so there is a real need to upgrade and modernise the facility so it can continue to be a leading provider in delivering quality music and drama education and public concerts,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“Previous rounds of this program, delivered by the Nationals in Government and exclusive to regional NSW, have funded local projects across the Clarence and Richmond Valleys to the tune of over $5.5 million including upgrades to playgrounds, sporting and cultural assets.

“We are following through on our election commitment to dedicate half of the grants under the third round to projects with a particular focus on regional youth and I am thrilled the Conservatorium is one of those projects.

“The strength of regional communities is dependent on young people having the opportunity to thrive, while remaining at home in regional NSW and I am really excited about the projects that have received funding under this latest round.

“We need to give more than lip service to young people and provide them the opportunity to be the best versions of themselves, while also supporting infrastructure and programs in the town they love.

“It is all about building the physical and social infrastructure of the future.”

Conservatorium Director Adam Wills said he was pleased to have been successful in their application under the Stronger Country Communities Fund.

“The funds will allow us to continue to improve the Conservatorium’s spaces, updating the building for its use in the 21st century,” Mr Wills said.

“It will allow us to make the visitor experience at the Conservatorium more comfortable and will work towards providing a sound-proof environment for music lessons.

“In addition to the updating of the premises, the funds will also allow us to add to our instrument collection – providing the tools necessary to fostering a love of music and performance.”

The $400 million Stronger Country Communities Fund is part of the NSW Nationals in Government’s $1.7 billion Regional Growth Fund, which is being invested in local programs and infrastructure that improve the lives of people living in regional NSW.