Surf Coast Cultural Centre

  • Project typeTwo-stage creation of Surf Coast Cultural Centre
  • Project scheduleStage one starting 2024, pending funding
surf coast arts and culture centre.jpg

Information updated 27 March 2024

This exciting project will create a striking new cultural hub in Torquay, modernising undersized existing facilities and providing a place for lifelong learning, social connections and expression through the arts.

The two-stage project will result in the Surf Coast Cultural Centre, incorporating:

  • Australian National Surfing Museum
  • Torquay Library
  • Multi Arts Centre – community-led performing and visual arts space
  • Makers’ spaces and rehearsal space
  • Visitor Information Centre
  • Wadawurrung Aboriginal cultural, visual and environmental heritage
  • Surfing Victoria office
  • Cafe

Stage 1

Stage one plans for the centre include redevelopment and expansion of the Australian National Surfing Museum, with its internationally-significant collection, joining Torquay Library and Torquay Visitor Information Centre in a new building incorporating the existing redeveloped Multi Arts Centre, MAC.

Elements of the new centre and surrounds will reflect Wadawurrung Aboriginal cultural, visual and environmental heritage.

Stage 1 costs and timing

Stage one – $36.8 million, starting 2024, pending funding

Stage 2

Stage two development would involve a new 250-seat studio theatre, gallery, artist-in-residence studio and backstage areas for performers in place of the current MAC building.

Stage 2 costs and timing

Stage two will include purpose-built theatre and gallery – $20 million, starting 2030, pending funding

Council has committed $8.06 million to the first stage, and is seeking $28.8 million in state and/or federal government grants, election commitments or philanthropic contributions.

Regional benefits

The total project will bring significant economic benefit for the region with construction projected to support 148 jobs and a completed stage one forecast to inject an additional $243 million in direct and indirect tourist expenditure in the Great Ocean Road region, supporting more than 750 jobs.

The Cultural Centre will help our community recover from the pandemic by delivering lifelong learning, renewed community connections and social and wellbeing benefits for locals and regular holiday-makers

The Business Case identifies a favourable cost benefit ratio over 30 years, addresses several needs including an extended library and facilities for the creative sector, an annual operating cost in line with Council’s long term financial plan, a high economic and social impact and confirms the existing buildings need to be upgraded.

Next Steps

Council has attracted $1.4 million from the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program to redevelop the MAC’s preforming and visual arts facilities.

Council is actively pursuing funding for stage one and is awaiting the outcome of a $10 million grant application with the Victorian Government’s Regional Tourism Investment Fund, and an $8.06 million application to the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.

Council will also be discussing potential funding commitments in the lead-up to state and federal elections this year, as well as exploring philanthropic or other partner support.

Once funding is secured, Council will move into the detailed design phase when more community engagement is expected, prior to finalising of plans and then project construction.



Surf City precinct, Beach Road, Torquay,  3228  View Map

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