Historic Berry School of Arts gets a Modern Makeover

Media Release

FN062/2017

05 May 2017

  • Refurbished Berry School of Arts is now open to the public
  • Upgrades will allow the 111 year old building to cater for larger community events
  • The Coalition Government invested $300,000 to upgrade the historic building

The NSW south coast community of Berry today celebrated the reopening of the School of Arts building, with the upgrade enabling the historic space to be used for large community functions, festivals and events, with better amenity for all the attendees.

Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said the newly refurbished facility will continue to be a great catalyst for more events.

“I aim to help build the kinds of communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to, and supporting the longevity of historic architecture like the Berry School of Arts does just that,” Minister Nash said.

“The Berry School of Arts building has had a rich history since its opening in 1906, serving the local community as a prominent gathering space, even serving as the local cinema at one stage.

“I am thrilled this important upgrade will see the community of Berry continue using this historic venue to showcase local art, and host gatherings such as festivals and weddings.”

Federal Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis, who joined the community for the opening, said the venue now has a modern commercial grade kitchen, which is perfect for catering for events.

“Other works included restoring the roof at the front section of the building and refurbishing the arts rooms,” Ms Sudmalis said.

“I am pleased to see that the community went with a rustic feel by painting the building in heritage colours.”

Shoalhaven City Council Mayor Amanda Findley said the Berry School of Arts has been a gathering place for the community for more than a century and is an important part of the region's history.

“Council is proud to have made the refurbishments to ensure future generations can enjoy this facility and create many new memories in a building that has been the hub of Berry,” Cr Findley said.

“We thank Ann Sudmalis MP for her advocacy in gaining the funds that enabled us to update one of our regions oldest halls.”

This project was jointly funded by the Coalition Government ($300,000), and Shoalhaven City Council ($50,000).