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Rooty Hill RSL to build largest performing arts centre in western Sydney

Rooty Hill RSL to build largest performing arts centre in western Sydney
November 22, 2017

The Rooty Hill RSL, the largest licensed club in NSW, has commenced construction of what will be the biggest performing arts centre in western Sydney.

Being built at a cost of $100 million, the Western Sydney Performing Arts Centre (WSPAC) will have a 2000-seat proscenium arch theatre with the capacity to host world-famous stage shows, musicals and concerts, as well as accommodate full ballet companies and symphony orchestras.

Being built across the road from the Rooty Hill RSL, on a site formerly used by the club as a carpark, WSPAC has been described as the biggest cultural development to hit Western Sydney.

Due for completion in late 2019, anticipation around the Centre is already building, with a stellar schedule of leading theatre performances and international music acts starting to take shape.

Part of Rooty Hill RSL’s plans to become an increasingly diverse leisure destination - which has already seen the registered club grow to include a fitness centre, AMF Bowling facility, hotel and the Sydney Gymnastic and Aquatic Centre – the development is being partly funded by profits from the club’s poker machines.

Rooty Hill RSL Chief Executive Richard Errington said the Centre is being "100% funded and underwritten by the Rooty Hill RSL Club ... built by the community for the community.”

An artist's impression of the 2000-seat theatre, which is being billed as the largest performing arts facility in Western Sydney. 

At a launch event in Sydney on Monday, Errington explained “the time has come for Western Sydney to have its own cultural icon.

“A project of this size has never been undertaken before on this side of the (Sydney Harbour) Bridge and excitement is already growing.

“We have brought together a team of leading architects, designers and engineers across the country to develop the vision for this world-class venue unlike anything else in Western Sydney. We can’t wait to share it with the community and watch it become a thriving hub for arts, culture and entertainment.

"Our objective was to provide something equal to the Sydney Opera House or the Lyric Theatre or the Capitol Theatre, so we can attract the same kind of shows they do.

"It's been designed to host stage shows, large musicals, ballet, the symphony orchestra. Anything the major theatres can provide, we can now also accommodate in this amenity."

The development is expected to create a “cultural powerhouse” will create hundreds of jobs across the construction, hospitality and entertainment industries over the coming years. It is also expected to be a major drawcard in Western Sydney, given its close proximity to the new international airport set to open in 2026, as well as the M7 and M4 motorways.

Once WSPAC is complete, the club then plans to develop a five star Pullman Hotel on an adjacent site to accommodate an estimated million visitors a year.

WSPAC General Manager of Marketing Simon Greally advised “the timing is right to bring both local and international theatre entertainment to Western Sydney.

“The community is excited and ready for it. Discussions are already taking shape with some big announcements to be made in early 2018.”

An artist's impression of the interior of the Western Sydney Performing Arts Centre.

GWS Giants Chairman Tony Shepherd is also excited about the opportunities that WSPAC will create for the community and is pleased to lend his support to the project.

Shepherd advised "as the former Chairman of the National Commission of Audit, (that) there's not a cent of government money in there makes me really happy.

“This is a magnificent performing arts centre, which will excite and draw people from Western Sydney and beyond. It is being built without a cent from the taxpayer and is providing the community with a facility it desperately wants and needs.

The project will be built by leading Australian construction company Hansen Yuncken, who has completed numerous landmark projects across the country, including the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania and New Space at The University of Newcastle.

The design by Cox Architecture has designed the venue to amplify the sense of anticipation experienced when attending the theatre, in particular, the anticipation that begins well before the performance has commenced.

Designed without its own street level entrance, a pedestrian air bridge will link the club and the theatre, funnelling potentially thousands of theatregoers through the club's premises before and after each performance.

Explaining the design, Cox Architecture Senior Associate Michael Bradburn advised “the flowing facade metaphorically references a stage curtain drawn across the warm and texturally rich foyers and theatre drum.”

As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, Rooty Hill RSL has 726 poker machines - one of the largest collections of any NSW club - and regularly ranks in the top 10 highest-earning clubs in terms of gaming machine profit.

Errington said the club had decreased its reliance on gaming revenue in recent years, and in 2016 reported $33 million in revenue from non-gaming sources in 2016, or 37.6% - the highest of any NSW club.

By the end of WSPAC's first year of trading, Errington said the club's reliance on gaming revenue would be further diluted to "50% driven by poker machines and 50% by non-gaming".

For more information about the development go to www.wspac.com.au

Images show artist's impressions of the $100 million Western Sydney Performing Arts Centre.

25th September 2016 - STUDY DISCOVERS THE CULTURAL TASTES OF MODERN AUSTRALIANS

13th August 2015 - ROOTY HILL RSL PLANS NEW $55 MILLION ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE 

27th February 2015 - WESTERN SYDNEY ARTS COMMUNITY BACKS REPORT INTO ARTS AND CULTURAL FUNDING IN THE WEST

11th October 2013 - CENTAMAN MAKES ITS ENTRANCE AT THE NEW SYDNEY GYMNASTIC AND AQUATIC CENTRE

11th September 2013 - ENTA PARTNERS WITH ROOTY HILL RSL

13th August 2013 - DOORS OPEN AT NEW SYDNEY GYMNASTIC AND AQUATIC CENTRE


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We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

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