Toogoolawah Cultural Precinct opens at old Nestlé factory site

Media Release

WT424/2015

11 December 2015

Joint release with:

Graeme Lehmann

Mayor of Somerset Regional Council

Toogoolawah's restored 100-year old Nestlé condensed milk factory packing shed has been transformed into a new Cultural Precinct for the community.

The new precinct includes the ‘Condensery Gallery’, a sculpture garden and workshop space, as well as car parking, new roads and paths.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the Australian Government provided $500,000 towards the project.

“A priority for the Australian Government is supporting transformative community infrastructure projects, like this one, that promote stable, secure and viable local and regional communities,” Mr Truss said.

“Around 15 jobs were created for Somerset residents during the construction of the cultural precinct, and a further 11 new positions will be ongoing at the site, delivering an important boost to the Toogoolawah region.”

Mayor of Somerset Regional Council Graeme Lehmann said before the creation of the Toogoolawah Cultural Precinct the nearest public art gallery was in Ipswich, more than an hour's drive away.

“The old condensed milk factory on site was so successful in the early 1900s that it enabled Nestlé to have a monopoly over condensed milk in the Brisbane Valley,” Cr Lehmann said.

“The Toogoolawah Cultural Precinct project has given the factory's packing shed a new lease of life, transforming the building into a state-of-the-art facility that retains the rich history of its past.

“The gallery is walking distance from the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail and will feature art exhibitions and be available for workshops and community events. It will be a permanent, valuable community asset and tourist attraction and will provide a major boost to the local art scene, tourism and the Somerset economy.”

The project was jointly funded with the Somerset Regional Council contributing $1 million towards this project and will be open to the public from 12 December.