The WAMA Foundation Ltd, has received $6.75M from the Victorian State Government as part of the Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund, to support the delivery of a $9M Art Gallery facility, significantly boosting the local economy, and diversifying the tourism offering within the Grampians region.
WAMA will be Australia’s first art and environment precinct with the centrepiece being a world-class art gallery dedicated to art inspired by the natural environment, surrounded by indigenous wildlife, native botanic gardens and bushlands.
Chairman, Greg Lewin says “This funding will take WAMA from vision to realisation. The facility will be a welcome addition to tourism in the Grampians, broadening the cultural experience for visitors and locals. And importantly, building and operating WAMA will bring significant benefits to the local economy.”
The funding will contribute significantly to building Stage 1 of the 16-hectare masterplan of the WAMA site to construct a state-of-the-art, climate-controlled art gallery, café, retail shop and large multipurpose conference centre, with parking, visitor access pathways, landscaping and boardwalk.
Once open, the WAMA gallery will hold major exhibitions of art inspired by the natural environment, borrowing from top galleries and collections in Australia and internationally.
WAMA Patron Glenda Lewin says she is “delighted” and “it couldn’t have come at a better time” as the Grampians region becomes increasingly popular for both domestic and international visitors.
“WAMA will offer a unique cultural destination by exploring the deep connections between the natural environment and art. There isn’t anything else quite like it within Australia. We believe WAMA will be an internationally recognised tourist destination.”
Greg Lewin says while the organisation has received this funding there is still more work to be done to raise money to complete the project.
“We have recently embarked on a Capital Campaign, turning our focus to philanthropy, to raise additional funds to ensure the project can be completed and our targets achieved.”
“We have a great network of supporters who have helped us get this far however, now more than ever we need the support of the community behind us.”
WAMA plans to be fully operational and open to the public by the end of 2024.