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Leichhardt’s Italian Forum Centre breaks through the funds barrier

Leichhardt’s Italian Forum Centre breaks through the funds barrier
July 9, 2010

Years of hard work have finally paid off for the staff at the Cultural Centre in Leichhardt's Italian Forum, with the enterprise securing nearly $3.7 million in Federal Government funding to complete various initiatives following the Centre's opening 12 months ago.

The Centre's General Manager, Monica Scagliarini, described the announcement as "a dream", adding "it's very satisfying to get this result, because all the hard work and volunteer efforts from all the people involved in this project has been highly rewarding.

"Apart from the fact we will receive the money to complete this beautiful project, it is also an acknowledgement of the strategic role of the Cultural Centre in Leichhardt. In some ways that is even more important, to be considered such an important piece of infrastructure for the Leichhardt municipality, and as a focal point for enhancing the quality of life for people in the inner west."

According to the Federal Member for Grayndler and Minister for Infrastructure, Anthony Albanese, the project would support 200 jobs in the construction phase, along with a further 125 jobs on an ongoing basis, delivering a total value of $7.4 million to the local community.

Minister Albanese explained "our funding will realise the Forumâs Cultural Centre vision, giving people access to a theatre/auditorium, function/conference areas and an exhibition space for a local Indigenous Artist Cooperative."

The project is pleasing news for Leichhardt Greens Councillor Alan Cinis, who backed the project from the start at Council level to be recommended to the Federal Government for the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program.

Cinis stated that "I always believed in this project - I thought it had that certain something - (and) I'm absolutely delighted theyâve managed to secure the funding, they really deserve it."

The money will be allocated towards completing the fit-out of the Centre, as well as the construction of function/conference areas, exhibition space, and improving energy efficiency.

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