Council to open EOI process for new Pride Centre in Newtown
Wednesday 23 September 2020
Inner West Council will launch an Expression of Interest (EOI) process calling for submissions from LGBTIQ or LGBTIQ-friendly organisations to manage a Pride Centre that will operate out of Newtown Town Hall.
Council officers have identified Newtown Town Hall as a suitable location for the Pride Centre, as many of the local population and businesses identify as LGBTIQ and/or LGBTIQ friendly, and it is located in an iconic, busy, central location.
Councillor Anna York, who moved the motion at Council, said the idea for a Pride Centre came out of an extensive consultation held by and for the Inner West rainbow community in 2016-17, including the 2017 Rainbow Roundtable.
“The experience of isolation – particularly for our older and youngest members of our rainbow community – and the need to have a physical space and a community hub for connection, support and potentially to access services were identified in that community discussion.
“The idea of the Inner West Pride Centre is to provide that space and that community hub and ensure our local Rainbow Community is connected, supported and empowered,” she said.
“It’s very exciting that the opportunity to give the Pride Centre a home in the Newtown Town Hall has opened up, and this EOI is an important way for the local rainbow community to help shape how we put the vision of the Pride Centre into practice,” said Clr York.
Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said Council is committed to providing space and a voice to the community’s wonderfully diverse LGBTIQ communities.
“The Inner West is home to a large and vibrant LGBTIQ community. They are a strong and vocal part of our community and have played an important role in shaping the character of our area.
“We want to make sure we get this initiative right and that’s why this EOI process is so important. We want the Inner West to have the first Pride Centre in Australia,” he said.
Newtown Neighbourhood Centre currently occupies Newtown Town Hall, but the town hall requires major refurbishment work. The Newtown Neighbourhood Centre (NCC) has asked Council for a new home so the renovations can take place.
The NCC has agreed to move to its new permanent home at the Tom Foster Community Centre on King Street. The Tom Foster Community Centre will also be undergoing a major refurbishment early next year with the NCC moving in after this is completed The EOI welcomes proposals for leasing of all or part of the newly refurbished town hall as a Pride Centre, and is inviting LGBTIQ or LGBTIQ friendly organisations to submit a proposal for the management and delivery of services at the site.
The Pride Centre will remain open to the whole community, who will be able to hire rooms or access services as they do now through the NCC.
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