Bendigo, VIC

Case Study

Since the 1990s, Bendigo City Council have been investing in their city with a strategic focus on arts, culture and history. This has paid off with tourism increasing steadily since the 1990s, with many heading to Bendigo for the art gallery. With both local and international exhibits, the gallery’s annual visitation has increased from 30,000 in the 90s to over 300,000 annually. As well as this, Bendigo City Council have also implemented the following arts initiatives which has helped the city thrive:

  1. Investment in city centre anchors
    primarily focused around arts and
    culture such as the library and gallery
  2. Investing in local heritage buildings
    by taking on a stewardship role
  3. Offering developers interest free loans
    for restoration of heritage buildings
  4. Integrating art throughout the city and
    offering local artists opportunities to
    contribute to the urban fabric
  5. Recognising their local gold-mining history
    and beautiful heritage buildings, making this
    a driver for new street furniture and landscaping
  6. Having an annual competition where local artists compete to have one piece of artwork exhibited in a particular location for a year
  7. Making those buildings that are necessary parts of the urban fabric such as amenities more visually appealing and pleasant spaces by focusing
    on artistic merit
  8. Partnering with the local high school to build a 1000-seat theatre
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