An $8.1 million arts precinct will open to the public on Saturday, finalising a three-year project to enhance Mudgee’s local art scene and tourism offering.

Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders said the precinct, which is centred around the former NSW Government building in Market Street, will open with an exhibition from the 2009 Archibald Prize winner, Mudgee-born Guido Maestri.

“This precinct will provide a wonderful space for locals to show off their artistic skills, while at the same time being a destination for outside artists to visit as well,” Mr Saunders said.

“This project started with members of the local arts community seeking a site to call their own. It was made possible through the sale of the site to Mid-Western Regional Council for $1, and has become a reality through the collaboration of all three levels of government.

“In the same way we have invested in the Glen Willow sporting complex and the food and wine industries, the NSW Government has backed this project to the tune of $3.8 million and I can see it being an incredible asset for Mudgee and the wider region.”

Mid-Western Regional Council general manager Brad Cam said it was great to see a dream become reality.

“Our community has needed and wanted a facility like this for a long time, so it’s wonderful that we are now able to open it and let people inside,” he said.

“I’m grateful to the NSW Government for joining with us, not only with the funding but the sale of the building, and the Federal government has been part of it as well. The collaboration between the three tiers of government has made this happen, and Mudgee is a better place because of that.”

The $8.1 million precinct was supported through $3.8 million of NSW Government funding, $2.8 million from Mid-Western Regional Council and $1.5 million from the Federal Government.

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