The City of Lismore will get its long-awaited new art gallery as part of the ‘Lismore Quadrangle’ project that has received federal funding worth $2.85 million.

The grant through the Australian Government’s Stronger Regions Fund was announced by the federal MP for Page Kevin Hogan, and welcomed by Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell.

Cr Dowell said Council’s contribution would be funded by $120,000 from the Lismore Quadrangle Pledge Campaign, $300,000 from the sale of the existing building, $126,800 in other public donations, a $110,000 Arts NSW grant, and $500,000 donated by a private foundation.

The Quadrangle, which includes the present Northern Rivers Conservatorium and Lismore branch of the Richmond Tweed Regional Library, is one of five projects on the Northern Rivers that will share in more than $12 million in funding.

The overall project will cost a total of $5.8 million and include a relocated gallery in the old C Block building on the Keen Street site as well as a public piazza and new car parking.

Council will fund the remainder with borrowings of up to $1.9 million, and Friends of the Gallery will work to boost fundraising to help minimise Council borrowings.

“This is an absolutely momentous occasion – it was quite overwhelming to receive the news and our heartfelt thanks goes out to Mr Hogan and the Australian Government,” Mayor Dowell said.

“This project will be such a wonderful boost for our CBD and our city as a regional centre for the arts. With the redevelopment of City Hall and now the new gallery, we can offer visitors and residents modern facilities where they will be able to experience world-class theatre and arts.

This is a huge step forward for Lismore.”

Tenders for the project are expected to be called in mid-2016, with work likely to begin in September.