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The Port Macquarie Museum has completed a master plan and schematic design project which reveals the transformation of its building in Clarence Street, Port Macquarie into a brand new, fit for purpose, regional museum to sustainably meet the cultural needs of generations to come.

The master plan and schematic design project was funded with a grant  from the NSW government’s Create Infrastructure – Regional Cultural Fund. Additional funds were contributed by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council through its Community Grants program and Port Macquarie Historical Society.

“The project was originally intended as an upgrade plan, however a site analysis early into the project made it clear that an upgrade would not achieve our project goals,” Port Macquarie Historical Society president, Clive Smith said.

“Not only are the museum building extensions tired and no longer meet the expectations of our visitors or the needs of our collections, it is not possible to update them to improve visitor access and environmental conditions nor meet current building code requirements.”

The Port Macquarie Museum master plan and schematic design report outlines the preferred schematic design for the current museum site, which will see the museum’s State Heritage Store building integrated with a new multi-level building behind it.

The plan provides for the demolition of all extensions added to the site since 1960.

The schematic design provides for over 2,000 square metres of dedicated spaces for exhibitions, gathering, public programs, and collection management. The ground floor of the historic Store building will become a community exhibition space.

A separate consultant’s report outlines the next three major stages of the redevelopment through to building commissioning and opening.

An application for funding has just been submitted to Create NSW after a successful EOI for funding for the next stage. This will involve completing the detailed plans and design work necessary for development and heritage approvals, exhibition and lighting design, community engagement and of course, fundraising.

The museum’s plans to transform into a world-class regional museum, cultural destination and community meeting place are on view at the Port Macquarie Museum and on their website portmuseum.org.au/news.

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