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Work will start in the new year to restore a grand lady of Yarram, the historic Regent Theatre.

Wellington Shire Council is calling for tenders to restore the façade of the building, which dates back to 1930.

Local MP Darren Chester said the Federal Government had provided $240,000 towards the project as part of a $1 million funding package for Wellington to support local jobs and stimulate spending during drought.

“The Regent Theatre is a wonderful community asset for Yarram and the surrounding districts,” Mr Chester said. “The drought has had a significant impact and businesses have also suffered from a downturn in visitor numbers due to the bushfires and the pandemic.

“Our small communities are under financial pressure and it would be impossible for volunteers to raise the money needed to undertake projects of this size.

“This funding is one way the Federal Government is working with our local councils to continue improving infrastructure to support local jobs and bring lasting community benefits.”

Wellington Shire Council Mayor Garry Stephens said work on the theatre’s façade should be finished in the first half of next year.

“The restoration work involves removing the paint and recoating the façade with a breathable finish to protect the render. The existing paint isn’t breathable, which has caused the render to deteriorate in some places,” Cr Stephens said.

“A light bar will be installed at the front of the veranda, which will be able to be accommodate new signage for the theatre. Inside, there will be a hearing loop installed so performances can be fully enjoyed by more people.

“There will be many people in Yarram who will be delighted to see this investment in the theatre, which is a much-loved landmark.”

The $1 million funding package for Wellington is funded through the Federal Government’s Drought Communities Program. Other local infrastructure projects to be funded in Wellington with this money include the bicycle pump track under construction at Heyfield and $385,000 worth of improvements at Briagolong Recreation Reserve, including the pony club facilities.

Wellington Shire last month allocated $20,000 for solar panels to be installed at the theatre from its initial $3.1 million share of the Federal Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.

Tenders to undertake the restoration of the Regent Theatre’s façade must be submitted by Wednesday December 23. Visit www.eprocure.com.au/wellingtonshirecouncil  for details.

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