Maree Edwards MP in Castlemaine announcing the funding.

Creativity is set to flow through the Mount Alexander community thanks to a partnership between the Victorian Government and Mount Alexander Shire Council.

Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards announced funding of $325,000 for two creative projects; upgrading and extending Castlemaine’s successful Village Square to provide more local creative opportunities and Stage 2 of the Get Lost online creative platform.

These dual investments will enhance our reputation as a place where creativity thrives, where creative careers and businesses can succeed, and where people come from far and wide to enjoy what we have to offer.

The Victorian Government is investing $100,000 to improve the Village Square’s amenities and enable the presentation of a greater array of creative and community events and activities in the heart of Castlemaine.

This includes building a carbon-neutral structure to provide shelter, shade, power and lighting to support events, all year round.

As part of this program, Mount Alexander Shire Council will establish an advisory group of creative producers who will work together to provide opportunities for the local creative community, especially young people.

The funding will also enable Council to embed creative placemaking into its planning framework.

Since it launched in March, the Village Square has played host to 80 performers, eight live radio broadcasts, four festivals, one solar-powered stage and even a garden built by children. It has attracted thousands of visitors, providing a COVIDSafe environment to enjoy the best of Castlemaine’s creativity, food and wine.

The funding is provided through Creative Victoria’s Creative Neighbourhoods Partnerships Pilot Program which aims to unlock and open up spaces for creative work and participation in partnership with local governments and other partners across the state.

The Victorian Government is also investing $225,000 for Stage 2 of the Council’s Get Lost Platform, through its $10 million Regional Recovery Fund.

The fund aims to kickstart regional recovery by investing in local projects so communities can respond rapidly and flexibly to the impacts of the pandemic which have played out differently across Victoria.

It builds on the Government’s almost $30 billion record investment across regional and rural Victoria since 2015.

Get Lost Stage 2 includes a supercharged website for the region’s artists to hold online exhibitions, performances, e-commerce and training and development.

Stage 1 of Get Lost researched the region’s local creative industries.

This is an important investment in our region’s creative industries – both online and in real life – and the contribution they make to Victoria’s economic, social and cultural vitality.

Posted by:Maree Edwards MP