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Carriageworks Reveals Epic Plans for $50 Million Revamp

A 5000-seat live music venue, new bars and a cinema are just the tip of the iceberg.
By Jasmine Crittenden
March 14, 2016
By Jasmine Crittenden
March 14, 2016

Carriageworks' vast, industrial spaces are already epic, by anyone's standards. After all, they used to be train yards. But they're planning on getting a whole lot snazzier, thanks to a just-announced whopping $50 million revamp. Announced by The Sydney Morning Herald this morning, the multipurpose Wilson Street venue is gearing up to "rival the Sydney Opera House and the yet-to-be completed ICC Sydney Theatre in Darling Harbour as one of the city's biggest entertainment venues."

So, where is Carriageworks hoping to spend those big bucks? As you'd expect, they'll be spread across a bunch of varied artforms. Ready? You'd better sit down for this. Plans include a huge 5000-seat live music venue, a 200-seat cinema, another massive public exhibition space, new artist studios and rehearsal spaces, work spaces for creative companies, and more places to socialise, including bars, cafes and restaurants.


Needless to say, a master plan of such gargantuan proportions is going to take some time to execute. The makeover process will take up to six years. But, by 2021, Carriageworks expects to be playing host to two million visitors and making a cool $15 million every year. There'll also be more music festivals, more food events, a major expansion of the weekend farmers' market and an additional weekday market.

What Carriageworks won't be getting is any new buildings. "It's all within the existing envelope of Carriageworks," director Lisa Havilah told SMH. Importantly, there's no apparent intention to steal the thunder (or audiences) of Sydney's established arts centres. "Carriageworks reflects urban contemporary Sydney, which is a different experience from when you go to the Art Gallery [of NSW] or the MCA or the Opera House," said Havilah. "We also work across disciplines and the creative industries and that's what really makes Carriageworks a distinctive cultural precinct."

Carriageworks is planning on sourcing money from both the government and private investors. Between 2012 and 2015, annual audience attendance increased from 110,000 and 790,000.

Via SMH.

Published on March 14, 2016 by Jasmine Crittenden

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  • Reader comments...

    michael folk - March 15, 2016

    Sounds like a great plan. I am really keen to know what will eb done about parking, which can be a challenge now, adn will eb a nightmare when completed unless additional facilities are provided


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