Iconic Sydney venue Carriageworks will keep hosting gigs and exhibitions, thanks to a group of 15 philanthropists who’ve offered a multi-million dollar package, backed by the NSW Government.

The Sydney institution, which also hosts a farmers market and plays host for a stack of events during Vivid Sydney each year, went into administration in May.

But now the venue has been saved from its $2m in debt, which it owes to more than 140 creditors. As SMH reports, NSW Minister for Arts Don Harwin revealed the government had agreed to a 10-year lease for the venue.

In addition, there is now a 5-year funding agreement in place with philanthropists including Geoff Ainsworth and his wife Johanna Featherstone, Kerr Neilson, Michael Gonski. The Packer Family Foundation also backed the arts organisation.

Carriageworks is home to eight resident arts companies whose leases are tied to Carriageworks’ lease, with each of them on rolling month-by-month leases, and in some cases have been for years.

“At the heart of it, we are excited for the resident companies of Carriageworks who will also greatly benefit from this announcement,” said MP Harwin in a statement.

He also mentioned that the new arrangement will offer security to several resident companies, which include the Sydney Chamber Opera, Moogahlin Performing Arts and Force Majeure.

“It means that Performance Space and our fellow resident companies can plan for the future with a bit more certainty,” said Artistic Director of Performance Space, Jeff Khan.

“It’s reassuring to know that our home is safe, and that this irreplaceable hub for contemporary art and performance is entering a new phase, poised to make an even greater contribution to our cultural life at a time when our communities need it most.”

As SMH points out, the decision to go into voluntary administration was made with uncertainty surrounding whether Create NSW will continue to provide core funding of $2.53 million to Carriageworks annually.

The group of philanthropists gave their funding on the proviso that Create NSW would grant Carriageworks its long-term lease.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine