Cessnock City Council confirmed its support for the city’s art gallery voting $60,000 over the next 12 months to help with running costs.

Earlier last month council voted to buy the former water board building where the galley is housed for $500,000 through loan funds and then consider what level of financial support would follow.

The report to last Wednesday night’s meeting suggested council look at funding in the order of $120,000 but a motion by Cr. Neil Gorman that $60,000 be allocated was carried.

The report said the gallery has achieved impressive milestones since its opening in June last year.

Its brief existence to date has not really allowed it to demonstrate its true potential, although the early signs have been encouraging, said the report.

If the art gallery was to close at this time, the loss of potential opportunities for the community to benefit from its programs focusing on education, young people, school students, community participation and indigenous art would be of great regret to the community at large.

Deputy Mayor, Cr. Ian Olsen, opposed the motion indicating that when council decided to buy the building that would be sufficient. He said that as much as people want an art gallery, there are those who would rather the money spent on roadworks and kerb and guttering.

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