NSW Nationals Leader and Member for Monaro John Barilaro has secured $500,000 to refurbish the mezzanine floor at Queanbeyan’s Bicentennial Hall.

Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council will receive the cash injection through the Nationals in Government’s $100 million Regional Cultural Fund.

Mr Barilaro said the project will create more space and opportunities for arts and cultural events to be staged in Queanbeyan.

“The Bicentennial Hall has been at the heart of Queanbeyan for many years, and this funding will be used to transform the mezzanine floor and provide our community with a multi-purpose space, fit for terrific arts and culture activities plus much more,” Mr Barilaro said. “Some of our city’s most valued events are held at the Bicentennial Hall, and with this injection of funds, the scope of events will broaden and locals will benefit.”

Following the major refurbishment, the mezzanine level will be able to be used as one large area or two smaller ones, suitable for workshops, rehearsals, conference breakout sessions, a black box theatre, education centres and much more. The possibilities for use of the Bicentennial Hall will be endless.

“Arts, culture, music and performance are at the heart and soul of our community here in Queanbeyan, and this funding will provide even more opportunities for entertaining and educational experiences,” Mr Barilaro said. “Importantly it will also provide our talented local artists with new opportunities to showcase innovative and quality works, and allow visitors to experience a diverse range of arts and activities while generating social, economic and tourism benefits for Queanbeyan and our local businesses.”

The Regional Cultural Fund is part of the Government’s $1.6 billion Regional Growth Fund, designed to improve economic growth and productivity as well as community amenity with investment in regional communities.

The mezzanine project was one of 159 projects to share in $47 million in round two funding, including up to $5 million specifically for regional public library infrastructure projects.