ALBURY’S historic pump house has been cleared to become an art studio and workshop following a recent NSW Government funding injection.
The East Albury building, which has had previous uses including water pumping and electricity reticulation, is presently being used as a storage facility.
The council on Monday night unanimously approved the change of use to community facility it proposed in a development application lodged in March.
Three months later arts project, PumpHouse Creative Enterprises, secured $1.3 million in state government funding for the upgrade also of a Wonga Wetlands farmhouse and Botanic Gardens curator’s cottage.
The proposed new uses for the pump house include a ceramics studio, printmaking space, woodwork and metalwork worskshop, equipment storage area in addition to onsite parking and off-site parking in the Boundary Road reserve and landscaping.
Once operational the facility will become financially sustainable through paid memberships.
It’s understood the building, which has heritage significance, was constructed in the 1880s with its steam engine the first of its kind to pump water from the nearby Murray River for Albury residents.
Cr David Thurley described it as a “wonderful opportunity” to rejuvenate an historic building.
“To get it alive and active again and see something really good happening down there is great,” he said.
Cr John Stuchbery agreed.
“It fulfills a number of purposes we can be proud of,” he said.
“Firstly it is providing a facility that appears to be required, not just in the area, but also outside the area.
“Secondly, it is maintaining an historic building and one would hope there are many other historic buildings that can be maintained and preserved.”
Meanwhile, the council accepted a tender of $198,952 for the refurbishment of the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre from Cobram-based company, Auselec.
The existing heating system was part of the facility’s original construction in 1984 and is costly to run.
The replacement system will include four new roof mounted natural gas ducted heating units and installation of associated duct work.
The tender was under the council allocation of $220,000 after a previous attempt to upgrade the heating two years ago was aborted.
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