The University of Tasmania will build one of the State’s most ambitious arts projects - the $75 million Academy of Creative Industries and Performing Arts (ACIPA) - following the announcement today (Tuesday 11 December 2012) of $37 million in funding from the competitive Education Investment Fund (EIF) Regional Priorities Round.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen said the project, which will connect the University and Tasmania with creative industries and cultures internationally and boost the State’s dynamic arts sector locally, will begin immediately.
The funding announced in Hobart this morning by the federal Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator Chris Evans, will be augmented by support from the State Government of $15 million.
Professor Rathjen said the project’s success reflects broad-based and passionate belief in the ACIPA project across the community, including federal and state MPs, local government leaders and the creative industries and tourism sectors. The University won the funding after evaluation of the project by the EIF independent advisory board.
“This is truly a world-class opportunity for the whole of Tasmania,” Professor Rathjen said. “It presents an opportunity for socio-economic revitalisation through cultural and creative activity in regional cultural precincts and remote communities across Tasmania. With the collective enthusiasm of its supporters, it has the potential to generate more than $660 million in direct and indirect economic benefits over the next seven years.”
The project will deliver a signature building on the site next to the Theatre Royal in Hobart. Associated infrastructure enabling creative industries programs and courses, including performing arts, new media, events management and digital technologies will utilise NBN technology to broaden delivery and scope across Tasmania.
“The NBN will enable us to link ACIPA, in the CBD of Hobart, with the North and North West of the state, and Tasmania with the world. Programs that transcend geography and culture will be delivered from around the world using high-tech education facilities, enabling students to access programs locally and internationally,” he said.
“We want to see through ACIPA student participation in tertiary education, particularly in the North and North-West, increase and we want to address key areas of need in employment and skills.”
Professor Rathjen said the University had been overwhelmed by the state-wide support that the ACIPA project has received, with the Launceston, Burnie and Hobart councils – in addition to major performing arts organisations such as the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, MONA and the Festival of Voices – being united in their collective enthusiasm for the possibilities offered by this concept.
Professor Rathjen said the University had a commitment to a future where industry, education and government worked together to drive innovation and outstanding long-term benefits for both students and Tasmania.
It is expected that this development will attract up to 3,000 new students over seven years.