The New England Conservatorium of Music (NECOM) will receive almost $200,000 from the state goverment to revive disused spaces in the Old Armidale Teachers College.
NECOM, which is a tennant of the building alongside the new Department of Regional NSW, will use the $192,603 grant to refurbish a section to create a fit-for-purpose music therapy studio, early childhood music studio and digital teaching studio, with contemporary music hub for guitar and drumming lessons.
A soundshell will be installed in the auditorium to improve acoustics and enhance audience experience during concerts.
NECOM Business Director Sophie Williams said the conservatorium was focused on broadening community engagement and delivering equitable access to the arts.
"Our passion is supporting social and community cohesion through high-quality education and performance experiences," Ms Williams said.
"The state government's funding will allow NECOM to expand and improve its service delivery and support community organisations with the use of improved rehearsal facilities, fostering creative practice and appreciation of the arts.
"These improvements to our vital cultural asset will provide a safe, secure and well-resourced hub at Armidale Teachers' College now and into the future."
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said the grant would enable the conservatorium to develop purpose-built facilities for Early Childhood and Music Therapy amongst other much-needed improvements.
"I have always thought it fitting that one of our region's strongest cultural institutions is housed in one of Armidale's most iconic buildings," Mr Marshall said.
"This partnership has been mutually beneficial - NECOM has a perfect space to teach and perform, while the building is well cared for by a long-term tenant."
He said safety and security upgrades will also be undertaken throughout, ensuring the building meets WH&S standards and suitable access for all members of the community.
Meanwhile, in a tribute to the Howard Hinton collection, re-creations of the famous artworks will be hung on the walls of the historic building that first housed the collection when it came to Armidale.
"In a very personal touch, a children's art trail will run throughout the building, paying homage to the significant pieces which once adorned its walls," Mr Marshall added.
"With greater opportunity for music education and programs and artworks again permanently on display, NECOM is making sure the CB Newling Building remains a proud home for the arts in Armidale."
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