Carriageworks Goes Into Voluntary Administration

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UPDATE: In a proposal being considered by the NSW government, the Sydney Opera House could save the day, taking over operation of Carriageworks. The move to hand over the cultural precinct was already in the pipeline prior to administrators being called, as the Sydney Opera House was approached to "consult on the long-term sustainability of Carriageworks… at this most difficult time for the arts". 

The Opera House Trust is considered the best option for delivering a program befitting the Carriagework's aesthetic, history and audience. Fingers crossed!

ORIGINAL STORY: It’s a sad day in Sydney as one of its most fun and exciting venues becomes a casualty of the Coronavirus crisis. 

In a crushing blow to our once-vibrant cultural scene, Carriageworks, a diverse creative hub and Australia’s largest contemporary arts centre has just announced it will go into voluntary administration.

Recent cuts to funding meant the government contributed to only a quarter of the venues annual revenue, while the rest relied heavily on a full calendar of event bookings attracting a million visitors every year, including big-ticket items like Sydney Writers' Festival, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and the popular Carriageworks Farmers Market.

The Redfern-based venue is the first of its kind to succumb to the dire circumstances, with a host of cancelled events causing irreparable financial distress.

“We have been striving to find a way through the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.” Carriageworks CEO Blair French said. “With restrictions on social gatherings likely to remain in place for some time to come, the board determined that it had no alternative but to place the company into voluntary administration.”

While considering all their options for the future, they are optimistic that they will find a solution that could keep Carriageworks alive and allow it to continue to house the creative companies that reside there. In a parting statement on behalf of the Carriageworks team, they expressed the hope that they would  “re-emerge on the other side of this pandemic crisis”. 

Read the official statement.

Image: Reko Renniel, REMEMBER ME, 2020, Carriageworks. Photo by Zan Wimberley. 

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