Community Facilities Strategy

Background

Council’s Community Strategic Plan 2038 is the long term strategic plan for the future of the Ku-ring-gai local government area. It reflects the aspirations, vision and long term objectives of the Ku-ring-gai community.  It is informed by key local plans and policies as well as government policy. To progress the long term objectives of the Community Strategic Plan 2038, a key task of the Operational Plan 2019-2020 is the preparation and adoption of the Ku-ring-gai Community Facilities Strategy to guide the delivery of libraries, community centres and cultural facilities across the Ku-ring-gai Local Government Area (LGA).

Purpose of the report

Given the range and diversity of Council’s assets, it is proposed to undertake the Ku-ring-gai Community Facilities Strategy in four (4) parts.

Part 1 – Community Centres and Libraries

Part 1 of the Ku-ring-gai Community Facilities Strategy was adopted by Council at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on 4 December 2018. This Strategy provides a sound basis for a strategic approach to facilities planning, particularly in relation to libraries and community centres and will focus on Council owned buildings that are managed and/or staffed by Council.

Ku-ring-gai Community Facilities Strategy Part 1 - as reported to Council (pdf. 3MB)

By definition, a community centre is a Council owned building that provides rooms and/or halls for casual hire by residents. These facilities offer flexible spaces for a wide range of activities including yoga classes, martial arts classes and club meetings, among others. They are generally open from 7am to 10pm, 7 days a week. Some buildings within this grouping are licensed to organisations that use the building during fixed hours during the week and/or school holidays, and are also available for casual hire by the community outside these hours. This category also includes libraries, art centres and youth centres that are staffed by Council.

A number of existing facilities within this category are likely to be replaced by the proposed new community hub buildings (Turramurra, Gordon and Lindfield). Council has already considered this matter in relation to the existing facilities in Lindfield that will be replaced when the Lindfield Village Hub is complete.

Some of Council’s larger buildings may contain a mix of the above for example the Old School Building in Gordon has rooms for casual hire, a youth centre and a room leased to the Ku-ring-gai Historical Society. Where this is the case the room or hall has been considered as a separate facility.

The strategy proposes the development of a network of community facilities in Ku-ring-gai that work together to collectively meet the needs of the Ku-ring-gai population. It is proposed that this network be implemented through a hierarchy of facilities including sub-regional, district, local/neighbourhood level facilities.

The hierarchy of facilities for Ku-ring-gai is proposed to be:

  1. A sub-regional level facility – a new large, specialist facility, centrally located in the LGA’s primary local centre, Gordon. This facility would have an arts/cultural focus and serve the wider LGA. The facility would be part of a larger civic/cultural precinct that also includes Council administration, Council chambers and Gordon library. Marian Street Theatre, while physically separate, will form part of the cultural component of the sub-regional facility.
  2. District level facilities – new large, multipurpose community facilities located in the local centres of Turramurra, St Ives and Lindfield. The facilities would be based on the community hub model and would each ideally co-locate branch library and community centre space. These facilities would serve the needs of their districts (that is, suburbs surrounding the facilities).
  3. Neighbourhood level facilities – small, mostly existing facilities (improved as required) serving the needs of their immediate neighbourhood’s areas. Two new local facilities are proposed for the northern district to balance out some of the inequity in the current pattern of facility distribution.

In addition to the above facilities the strategy is mindful that Ku-ring-gai Council is currently developing an entertainment, events and tourism based precinct on the site of the St Ives Showground and Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden. The facilities will likely have a more commercial focus with space suitable for large outdoor events, attracting people from a broader region.

 

 

Part 2 – Art and Creative Spaces

Part 2 of the Ku-ring-gai Community Facilities Strategy specifically deals with dedicated creative arts facilities, purpose designed to meet the needs of the performing and visual arts and the rapidly emerging Creative Industries within the Ku-ring-gai Local Government Area (LGA).

Council has resolved to move forward with a number of projects, including the renewal of the Marian Street Theatre. It is therefore timely to prepare a strategy to guide the future provision of creative arts facilities, visual arts (photography, painting, sculpture, printmaking and film), performance (dance and music) and exhibition spaces.

In late 2018 Council engaged Brecknock Consulting Pty Ltd, in conjunction with Andrew Bleby & Associates, to prepare a report exploring options for providing creative arts facilities. Brecknock Consulting are a leading cultural planning consultancy, with extensive national and international experience in stakeholder engagement and the preparation of similar strategies.

Andrew Bleby has over 35 years experience and an extensive record of success in senior management of the performing arts, theatre, festivals and events.

The consultants have worked closely with Council staff and key stakeholders, to assist in the preparation of this report.

The purpose of the draft Ku-ring-gai Creative Arts Facilities Options Report is to further refine and understand the cultural and creative character of the LGA and the community’s need for creative arts facilities across the LGA; considering both existing buildings and new buildings (if required).

The report also considers the needs of the arts in relation to both spaces where artists can learn about and create their artwork and spaces where they can showcase their artwork through exhibitions and performances, such as drama, music and dance.

Ku-ring-gai Creative Arts Facilities Options Report - as reported to Council (pdf. 3MB)

Part 3 – Community Services

This part will develop a strategy for Council owned buildings that are currently leased to community organisations on an exclusive basis. Many of the existing buildings are ageing with high maintenance and/or replacement costs, and a number have been closed due to safety issues. The strategy will need to develop a financially sustainable model that will ensure identified social needs continue to be served. This strategy will propose some rationalisation of existing facilities including where possible incorporation into new facilities within the new community hubs.

Part 4 – Community Facilities Management Model

This part will develop a management/operational model and identify an approach to facility programming and management (to ensure a range of services, activities and programs that meet a broad range of community needs); and administration and staffing arrangements (including whether facilities will be staffed).

The model may also involve the management of local and neighbourhood facilities as satellite facilities to their closest district or sub-regional community hub.

Community consultation

Part 1 – Community Facilities Strategy

The draft Ku-ring-gai Community Facilities Strategy – Part 1 was reported to Council at the OMC 28 August 2018.

Council resolved to adopt the draft Strategy for public exhibition.

The Strategy was placed on public exhibition for a period of one month between 5 October and 2 November 2018.

Part 2 – Creative Arts Facilities Strategy

Stakeholder consultation was undertaken to inform the preparation of Part 2, the draft Ku-ring-gai Creative Arts Facilities Strategy – Options Paper.  The process involved the identification of a comprehensive list of individuals and groups from both performing and visual arts. Facilitated workshops with key individuals and user groups were conducted by Brecknock Consulting on 11 and 12 February 2019. The key findings from this stakeholder consultation can be found in the report to Council dated 11 June 2019

The results of  the public exhibition of the draft Ku-ring-gai Creative Arts Facilities Strategy – Options Paper and recommended next steps were reported back to Council on 22 October, 2019.

The Options Report which was exhibited provided a detailed assessment of the facility needs for creative arts practitioners and how these facilities might be arranged or located across the Ku-ring-gai LGA. A total of 26 public submissions were received during the exhibition period from 22 August to 20 September, 2019 inclusive. Given the significant opposition raised in the submissions received, it was recommended to Council that the proposed Option 1 – to consolidate creative arts facilities across the Ku-ring-gai LGA, into two facilities be discounted from further consideration, as the Ku-ring-gai Arts Centre is clearly a valuable community asset with longstanding support and utilisation. Options 2 and 3 received good levels of support, however there is currently insufficient information regarding the overall cost of the facilities proposed, for Council to make a final decision at this juncture.

It was therefore recommended that Council undertake a final study, to determine a preferred option and strategy. The study would include high level design concepts, cost estimates, a cost/benefit analysis and financial analysis of proposed Options 2 & 3 as part of further interrogations to determine the most appropriate and realistic strategy in terms of funding and delivery.

Next steps

Council will progress with the procurement of a suitably qualified external consultant, to undertake an Options review and cost analysis of proposed Options 2 & 3. The findings of this investigation and recommendations made will be reported back to Council upon completion. This is anticipated to be in the second half of 2020.

Council reports 

The draft Ku-ring-gai Creative Arts Facilities Strategy – Options Paper was reported to Council on 11 June 2019. Council resolved to adopt the Options Paper for public exhibition.

11 June 2019 – Ku-ring-gai Creative Arts Facilities Strategy – Options Paper (pdf. 3MB)

Ku-ring-gai Creative Arts Facilities Options Report - as reported to Council (pdf. 3MB)

The report was placed on public exhibition for a period of one month between 22 August and 20 September 2019.

The results of the public exhibition were reported to Council on 22 October 2019.

22 October 2019 – Ku-ring-gai Creative Arts Facilities – Options Paper – Public Submissions 

Other relevant Council reports can be found in the following links below: 

28 August 2018 – Ku-ring-gai Community Facilities Strategy – Part 1 – Community Centres and Libraries

4 December 2018 – Ku-ring-gai Community Facilities Strategy Part 1 – Public Submission

More information

If you have any questions not answered by this web page, please contact:

Bill Royal, Team Leader Urban Design

E: broyal@kmc.nsw.gov.au

P: 9424 0945

OR

Louise Drum, Senior Urban Designer

E: ldrum@kmc.nsw.gov.au

P: 9424 0723