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Powerhouse Museum to be relocated to the banks of the Parramatta River
The NSW Government has chosen a site on the banks of the Parramatta River as the preferred new location for Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum.
Despite strong opposition to moving the Museum from its current site in central Sydney, its new location, on which construction will begin in 2018, will be on the site of a car park adjacent to the Parramatta CBD.
Announcing the development, NSW Premier Mike Baird said the Powerhouse’s relocation to Parramatta would mean that for the first time one of the state’s five major cultural institutions will be in Western Sydney.
Premier Baird stated “locating the Powerhouse at Parramatta will ensure Western Sydney has a new, world-class cultural institution that will be a major drawcard for local and international visitors.
“The site on the banks of the Parramatta River is the ideal location for the new Powerhouse Museum, which will serve as an anchor for a new arts and cultural precinct.”
A petition against the decision was signed by 10,000 people, with actress Cate Blanchett and former premier Bob Carr among those calling for the plan to be scrapped.
NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said the plan was exciting news for western Sydney, stating “obviously we heard the calls regarding the protest of moving the museum from Ultimo.
"But we're focused on delivering Parramatta a world-class museum to increase the patronage of students in particular and to get visitations up to a million annual visits by 2030."
Minister Grant said that with the preferred site selected, detailed planning work can now get underway to make the vision of the Powerhouse as a beacon of art and culture in Western Sydney a reality.
He added “this site will deliver a vibrant, exciting community hub by the beautiful Parramatta River that can be easily accessed and enjoyed day and night.
“The new museum will showcase more of the Powerhouse’s exhibits - the size of the collection on display is set to increase by at least 40%.
“A close partnership with Parramatta City Council and consultation with the community will be crucial during the design process as this will be truly a museum for the people.”
Set to be completed by 2022, the Museum’s location complements light rail and transport plans for Parramatta.
Director of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences Dolla Merrillees said Powerhouse Parramatta will change the way people think about museums.
Merrillees stated “people travel across the world to visit great museums and we look forward to profiling one of the world’s great collections and delivering a dynamic experience for our visitors.”
The Western Sydney Director of the Sydney Business Chamber, David Borger, said the new location was a good choice and would encourage visitors from the city.
Borger stated “the advantage of that river site is it does allow people to stand back and view the building from long distances.
"Sydney is growing, and it's growing more in the west than the east because there's more land.”
Images: Artist's impressions of the new museum on the banks of the Parramatta River.
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5th June 2015 - SYDNEY COMMUNITY FIGHT TO SAVE POWERHOUSE MUSEUM
26th February 2015 - SYDNEY’S POWERHOUSE MUSEUM TO RELOCATE TO PARRAMATTA
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