NSW budget: $12M puts wind in Opera House sails

The upcoming State Budget will deliver $12 million for the biggest upgrade of the Sydney Opera House since it opened 43 years ago, Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant and Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian have announced.

The $12 million funding, which is the first investment towards the $202 million project, will go toward detailed planning and design of the first projects in a decade of  renewal of the world heritage-listed Opera House.

These projects include major improvements to the Concert Hall, the entry points and foyers, and construction of a dedicated creative learning centre and new function centre.

Mr Grant said this renewal project will prepare the Opera House for future generations, and the increasingly heavy demands that are made upon Australia’s premier tourist attraction and one of the world’s busiest performing arts centres.

“The NSW Government is investing $600 million in cultural infrastructure across the state, and there’s no better place to invest than in the Sydney Opera House,” he said.

“And I’m delighted the private sector shares our view with Samsung Australia extending its Principal Partnership agreement with the Opera House for the next five years.”

Ms Berejiklian said this upgrade will help cement the State as a world-class tourism destination and ensure our nation’s most recognisable cultural asset, the Sydney Opera House, has the highest standard of facilities.

As part of the renewed Principal Partnership also announced today, Samsung will work with the Sydney Opera House on innovative projects, using the latest technology to create new ways to experience one of the world’s busiest performing arts centres.

These include a world-first virtual reality tour to the top of the Opera House sails – Climbing the Sails – an experience available in a new lounge located in the Opera House’s Box Office Foyers. ‘The Lounge Enabled by Samsung’ opens later this year and will feature additional seating plus an innovative technology space where visitors can explore the Opera House’s rich history and extraordinary present, together with plans for its renewal over the coming years.

Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM said the Opera House has transformed Australian life and identity in the decades since it first opened in 1973.

“The generous support of the NSW Government is enabling us to transform the Opera House to ensure that it remains a source of inspiration for current and future generations of audiences, visitors and artists,” Ms Heron said.

“Our renewal plans will open up more Opera House spaces to the public, inviting even more people to gather, to learn and to engage with the arts and each other.”

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Published: 15 June 2016