A community group
is to take over the running of the Bunker Cartoon Gallery after Council
agreed to their proposal.
The Bunker Cartoon
Gallery Inc (BCGI) is expected to take over the running of the
facility from July 1 2015 with a two-year licence agreement, plus the
negotiable option of extending it by a further year. Council is
to pay BCGI an operating subsidy of $86,000 for
the first year and $80,000 in the second year. There is a further
option of a $75,000 subsidy for the third year under the licence
It is estimated
that Council will save around $31,000 in operating and support costs over three
years through this arrangement.
“As part of the
agreement, ownership of the cartoon collection will be transferred back to the
Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour City, which built up the original collection
through its annual Cartoon Awards,” said Sian Nivison, Council’s Group Leader
Community and Cultural Services. “Through our discussions with BCGI, we’ve ensured
that the Bunker will remain available for hire as a venue during core hours for
activities and exhibitions that are complementary to cartooning. Outside
core business hours the venue can be hired for a broad spectrum of community
and cultural uses."
Ms Nivison added
that Council had heard concerns about the loss of space for workshops or
community art exhibitions under the new arrangement. An audit undertaken
concluded that there were other venues that could fulfil that role in the local
government area. Council will continue to discuss and plan with interested
parties the needs to enhance arts and culture infrastructure as part the wider
Cultural Facilities planning. Anyone interested is encouraged to contact
Under the proposed
licence agreement, it is intended that BCGI will be responsible for
all day-to-day operational business costs. Council will remain responsible
for major repairs, building insurance and structural maintenance.
Council will also continue the marketing support already provided
in line with other support given to tourism operators in the region.
The licence will be
monitored through quarterly performance measures that reflect
financial and service levels.
The Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour City owned
and managed the Bunker Cartoon Gallery from 1996 to 2006 before
gifting the cartoon collection and the operation of the dedication of
the cartoon gallery to Council.