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Blue Mountains News

State Government Delivers Funding for Varuna Writers House in Katoomba

Source: Shayne Mallard Member of the Legislative Council
Posted: 6 Feb 2019
Varuna Writers House Chair Jennifer Scott, Liberal Candidate for the Blue Mountains Owen Laffin and Varuna Writers House Director Veechi Stuart.
Legislative Council member of the NSW Government Shayne Mallard and Minister for the Arts Don Harwin announced yesterday that the Varuna Writers’ House in Katoomba has received a grant of $100,000 towards the building of a fully accessible Writers’ Studio on the much loved heritage listed property.

The grant was part of the $495,000 Creative Capital fund targeted to assist in capital works in arts venues in Western Sydney. Seven organisations received funding in this round of applications.

Creative Capital support from Create NSW is aimed at supporting innovative smaller-scale capital infrastructure projects in arts and cultural venues across Newcastle, Wollongong and Metropolitan and Western Sydney. The initiative offers matched funding of up to $100,000 to improve venues, repair and conserve collections or to purchase new equipment to improve the usability of arts and cultural facilities.

Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said, “From new furniture and WIFI, new spaces for creative education and even a new mobile arts centre that will deliver its offering direct to the heart of the Western Sydney community, this funding will enable sustainable improvements with long-lasting impact."

Shayne Mallard MP announced the funding whilst visiting Varuna alongside the Liberal candidate for the state seat of Blue Mountains Owen Laffin.

“I was very excited to visit Varuna and meet some of the writers in residence. Being a classic Art Deco building the writers’ retreat has accessibility challenges for those writers who may need a wheelchair or other assistance. This grant will largely pay for a separate but integrated accessible accommodation studio for writers to use whilst still participating in the atmosphere and unique life of Varuna,” Shayne Mallard said.

Liberal Candidate for Blue Mountains Owen Laffin was equally enthusiastic about the funding and the role of Varuna.

“Varuna is one of the many hidden gems of the Blue Mountains arts and cultural community. It’s great thanks to the sound economic management of the NSW Liberal government to be able to fund this essential new studio to allow full accessibility for writers to stay,” Owen Laffin said.

“If I am honoured to be elected as the next member for the Blue Mountains as part of the Berejiklian NSW Liberal Government, I will work tirelessly to secure more funding not only for Varuna but the many hundreds of arts and cultural organisations across the Blue Mountains!” Owen added.

Hon. Shayne Mallard MP with Varuna Writers House Chair Jennifer Scott, Varuna Writers House Executive Director Veechi Stuart, Varuna Writers House Creative Director Amy Sambrooke and Liberal candidate for the Blue Mountains Owen Laffin.
 
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