Creative Victoria – Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
Facilitation, Research, Insights, Strategy

The City of Bendigo in central Victoria is one of the state’s most attractive regional destinations, based upon a recent push to enhance the area’s cultural venues. The redeveloped Bendigo Art Gallery and the new Ulumbarra Theatre are attracting blockbuster exhibitions and shows from across the country and internationally, resulting in the flourishing of the arts and cultural sector. In response to this activity, Creative Victoria made a commitment in the State’s first creative industries strategy Creative State, released in 2016, to invest in the development of a creative industries hub for Bendigo.

Left Bank Co. won the tender to undertake a research project under the guidance of a joint Creative Victoria and Regional Development Victoria steering committee, with the purpose of setting the strategic and commercial foundations for this hub. The objective of this scope of work was firstly to take a deep dive into the creative community of Bendigo, from the smallest to the largest players and across all creative sectors, in order to determine the needs and opportunities that this hub needs to meet; and secondly, to develop potential functional and operational models that could enable this hub to be delivered, scoping potential partnerships and sites that would suit the hub. Left Bank Co. collaborated with a number of creative industry and research experts to undertake a variety of tasks to complete this project, including in depth stakeholder interviews, site visits, desktop research, data analysis, insights development, workshops, stakeholder testing, business model development, financial planning and strategic planning, as well as architectural optioneering in conjunction with Melbourne-based architect Clare Cousins.

The outcome of this scope of work included two comprehensive reports, the first outlining the priority needs of Bendigo's creative industries community, and the second describing the proposed vision for the hub, with possible business models and functions that would enable the priority needs to be met. The final recommendations delivered to Creative Victoria set out the key priorities for the hub, and the best way to progress with the preferred model, while working within the constraints of the project budget and governance opportunities. This was structured in order to enable Creative Victoria to make the best-informed decision for implementing this hub and to guide the future planning and operations. 

Creative Victoria sought an operator for the hub in early 2018, with BeCreative appointed to establish and run this new facility out of the Morley’s Emporium building in the heart of the city. You can discover more about the hub and BeCreative here.