The concrete has set on a new performance studio to seat 150 people at the Manning Entertainment Centre in Taree.
The space will complement the existing 500-seat main auditorium and is jointly funded by the NSW Nationals in the federal government ($1 million), the NSW Nationals in the state government ($1.55 million), MidCoast Council ($438,000) and community (bequest).
On a joint site inspection, Federal Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie congratulated Rainbow Flat firm Reeman Construction Pty Ltd on being awarded the construction contract.
“The Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program is future-proofing the Manning Great Lakes region by supporting worthy projects like the MEC additions,” Dr Gillespie said.
“When the three tiers of government work closely together – federal, state and local – we can deliver real opportunities to grow the region’s tourism potential, while supporting local construction jobs.”
State Nationals Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead said the studio space would help local artists and attract professional productions such as cabaret, comedy, film screenings, and chamber and contemporary music.
“The Manning Entertainment Centre has been a hub for the community for more than 30 years and it’s really pleasing that the concrete has been poured, as you can see how big the artist-in-residence studio and new exhibition space will be.
“After a challenging few years with Covid-19 heavily impacting the arts, the new studio will provide a much needed and welcome boost for Myall Lakes residents.”
Mayor David West paid tribute to the Flett family for their community contribution.
“A bequest from June Neruda Flett in 2007 was specifically earmarked for the maintenance or improvement of the Manning Entertainment Centre,” Mayor West said.
“June’s only request was that any use of the funds acknowledge her mother, Beryl Jane Flett, and we are delighted to be acknowledging the contribution in such a prominent way.”
The studio is expected to be completed mid-2022 and will be named the ‘Beryl Jane Flett Studio’ in honour of June and Beryl.
For more information about the project and to see design plans, please visit: www.haveyoursay.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/manning-entertainment-centre