Council to enter Long Term Lease with Westside Performing Arts Centre

Greater Shepparton City Council has agreed to enter into a lease with the Minister of Education on behalf of the Department of Education’s Victorian School Building Authority, for the Westside Performing Arts Centre in Mooroopna, with the decision voted upon at the April Council meeting on Tuesday.

Riverlinks Westside
Riverlinks Westside

In summary:

  • Council to lease Westside Performing Arts Centre in Mooroopna from the Department of Education for $1 per year for 20 years (with option for 10 more).
  • Riverlinks currently manages the venue used by schools, performers, and for big-name productions.
  • The lease allows Riverlinks to advocate for further improvements to the venue and surrounding area.

A draft lease has been negotiated between Council and the Department of Education for the Westside Performing Arts Centre, with the lease set at a peppercorn rent of $1 per year for twenty years, with an option for an additional ten year term.

Riverlinks Westside, as it is also known as, is situated on the site of the former Greater Shepparton Secondary College Mooroopna Campus, and prior to that the Mooroopna Secondary College. The venue is used frequently by the community, both as patrons and as performers on the stage, including local schools, dance schools and amateur theatre companies.

Riverlinks has managed the site since the early 2000’s, ensuring to program content from a range of big companies that include The Australian Ballet, Opera Australia, Bell Shakespeare, Melbourne Theatre Company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Short Black Opera Company and many more, bringing the experience of big city performing arts to the regions. Commercial promoters also form a large part of the venues usage as they hire the space to present a wide variety of arts and entertainment, attracting visitors to the region which in turn, provides a positive economic boost.

Riverlinks is excited about the lease as it will enable them to greater guide and advocate for more capital improvements of the venue and its surrounds.

Mayor, Councillor Shane Sali, said securing a long-term future for the Westside facility was extremely important, particularly because it is a valuable asset for the community.

“The long-term lease is not only great news for the community of Mooroopna, but for the region as a whole. In the current 2023/2024 financial year, there are 46 separate events booked at Westside. These performances draw people together and contribute to the resilience and strength of the community,” he said.

“The contribution of the Westside Performing Arts Centre to the local economy is significant and this lease ensures much needed repairs and investment into the facility.”

/Public Release. View in full here.