Gardens precinct set for $8.6M upgrade

Published: 12 Jun 2020 2:42pm

The final piece in the puzzle to connect Wagga Wagga’s Botanic Gardens with the Museum of the Riverina and give the entire community space a major upgrade has been secured in a recent funding announcement.

Wagga Wagga City Council last week received $4.28M in Federal Government Building Better Regions funding towards the overall $8.6M redevelopment of the precinct which is now underway.

The Botanic Gardens Precinct Renewal Project involves a number of aspects which result in an area that will be engaging and accessible to our community and visitors alike.

This precinct re-development was a recommendation out of Council’s Cultural Plan to activate and connect the Botanic Gardens precinct and with the Museum of the Riverina. The precinct works include:

  • Museum of the Riverina redevelopment: A new and extended building to house collections as well as a new exhibition area fit-out
  • Entwine: Enhancements to the Botanic Gardens, zoo, pathways and interpretive signage connecting the gardens to the Museum.
  • Lord Baden Powell Drive: An upgrade for pedestrian and road safety within this precinct

Council’s Director Community Janice Summerhayes said the Renewal Project has a community-wide focus aimed at providing nearby facilities to some of the city’s established neighbourhoods whilst also investing in the renewal of tourism attractions for our City.

“This investment provides a balance to what is provided across the city between the CBD, new and established neighbourhoods - this project achieves this by providing accessibility for the neighbourhoods of Turvey Park, Mount Austin and Tolland as well as a destination place for residents from other neighbourhoods,” Ms Summerhayes said.

“It brings our community together and highlights the importance of cultural institutions for knowledge growth and cultural development.”

Ms Summerhayes said the investment in community infrastructure and projects like this are an important contributor to economic stimulus by way of jobs in construction and a long-term tourism attraction.

She said the upgrade, involving Lord Baden Powell Drive, would also provide safe accessible movement corridors in the area.

“The Botanic Gardens has served Wagga Wagga as a much-loved community space for more than 50 years and to see a major redevelopment of the precinct is a positive outcome for the city,” Ms Summerhayes said.

“It will be an outstanding place for the city where future generations and visitors will be able to enjoy for many years to come.”