About the Precinct Plan

In 2019, we undertook a precinct planning process with the support and collaboration of Maribyrnong City Council and Creative Victoria to investigate how our aging cultural infrastructure could continue to meet demand from artists, audiences and community. This resulted in a Precinct Plan by consultation firm, Parallel Practice – a comprehensive paper identifying key demographic shifts in the West, and how our infrastructure needs to respond.

News and Updates  

Construction works commence late 2024. The riverside lawns at Footscray Community Arts (within orange square, pictured) will be closed to the general public from Nov 2024 to late 2025. 

Image: Indicative render of outdoor performance space and accessible path. By MGS Architects.

Watch this space for regular project updates. 

The Vision 

Stage 1: Outdoor Performance Space 

Image: Indicative render of outdoor performance space and accessible path. By MGS Architects.  

The Victorian State Government has provided funding to enable the conversion of Footscray Community Arts’ much-loved amphitheatre into an architecturally designed multi-use performance space. The redevelopment will allow for year-round weather protection, reduced noise for residential neighbours, and improved disability and mobility access. 

There will be more greenspace for community to use every day, complemented by an enhanced landscape that cares for Country. 

To achieve this vision we’re working with the best: design led by MGS Architects and Simone Bliss Landscape Architects together with project directors RP Infrastructure. 

Additional investment from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation Foote Trust has enabled leadership opportunities throughout this stage of the project for the communities we prioritise and centre.  

Stage 2: Warehouse Transformation 

Image: Precedent reference – The Polygon Gallery by Patkau Architects, Canada 

The redevelopment of 47 Moreland Street will deliver a multi-tenanted creative arts precinct housed across the Warehouse footprint and Henderson House. With Footscray Community Arts as the existing lead tenant, the precinct will respond to unmet demand for creative spaces in Melbourne’s West.  

Expansion of Footscray Community Arts’ gallery footprint will provide space for creatively ambitious and large-scale exhibitions providing a landmark gallery for Melbourne’s western suburbs.  

This future vision for Footscray Community Arts was endorsed by Maribyrnong City Council in 2023 in a co-authored Master Plan. And we are currently seeking investment for Stage 2 works. 

The Need

We know that Footscray’s population will grow by 179% and Maribyrnong’s by 101% in the next 25 years. We are already experiencing record demand for our precinct and services, and are dedicated to ensuring our communities have access to high-quality, vibrant and culturally safe community spaces. 

Infrastructure redevelopment addresses key strains on the precinct: 

  • Poor disability access and limited connectivity across the site limit our ability to deliver inclusive, high-quality outcomes. 
  • Year-round activation on the site is not possible. There are no covered spaces large enough to accommodate medium-large events, and no consideration of sound treatment to consider the impact of events on neighbours. 
  • Prohibitive costs and operational inefficiencies are barriers to activation for Footscray Community Arts, local community groups and commercial operators. 
  • Our existing venues are at capacity, limiting programming, community and commercial opportunities. The strain on the precinct is compounded by a lack of other creative space in the West. 
Image: Render of precinct. By MGS Architects.  

The Impact

Benefits of investing in the Footscray Community Arts precinct include:

  • Improved and fit-for-purpose creative infrastructure contributes to the social, health, creative and economic wellbeing of the municipality.
  • Maximised use of our nationally recognised brand and current operational funding from all levels of government, including expansion of operational funding from Creative Victoria.
  • Leveraging of our in-house expertise and proven skill in operating a creative precinct, with a 50-year strong legacy.
  • Connection with our loyal and growing audience base; creates capacity to serve proven unmet community and audience demand in a rapidly changing West.
  • Ongoing safety and access issues associated with current infrastructure resolved.

The recommended actions in the plan involve modest capex investment, yielding major cultural, community and economic return. A conservative independent economic appraisal conducted in 2020/21 supported funding for the proposed works, and that this project will make the community and Victorian taxpayers better off.

Let’s Talk

Please contact reception@footscrayarts.com for any enquiries.  

More Information

Follow Us

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to stay on top of updates.