The Belconnen Arts Centre (BAC) team were thrilled to receive news of funding for what the ACT Government has dubbed the Belconnen Arts Centre Boardwalk Extension, alongside the upcoming completion of Stage 2 of the Arts Centre.
A pre-budget press release from Meegan Fitzharris MLA and Mick Gentleman MLA announced $33.8 million in funding for improvements to local infrastructure in several ACT town centres, including the development of the Belconnen Bikeway, a “fully integrated active travel loop” around Belconnen and the Lake Ginninderra foreshore. A small section of this project is planned to cross the currently undeveloped shoreline to the north of BAC, connecting Emu Inlet and the Foreshore Promenade and providing a longed-for interface between BAC and Lake Ginninderra. It’s the final piece of the puzzle and will complete a circuit all the way around Lake Ginninderra. But what form it takes is yet to be determined – and that’s where you come in.
BAC has high hopes for the Boardwalk Extension project; when works were carried out on Emu Inlet in 2011, future plans envisioned the foreshore area around BAC as a continuous arc that joined with the Foreshore Promenade, a feature that was echoed in the Belconnen Town Centre Master Plan and informed the design of BAC Stage 2.
Currently, the shoreline around the Centre is steep, inaccessible and unsafe for use. BAC is keen to see the Boardwalk Extension incorporate accessible design, such as gentle gradients and paths wide enough to safely accommodate bicycles, pedestrians, prams and wheelchairs, with a “soft edge” leading into the Lake to encourage use by kayaks and other watercraft.
A thoughtfully designed Boardwalk Extension that interacts with BAC’s indoor and outdoor spaces will make the Centre a wonderful meeting point for the community. With a cafe planned in the northern section of BAC Stage 2, people can finish off their Lake walks with a coffee as they watch the reflections of the surrounding landscape glint on the water. The 400 seat auditorium that will be built as part of Stage 2 will also present surrounding businesses with fantastic opportunities, as hundreds of people will be funnelled via the Boardwalk Extension to restaurants and cafes around Emu Inlet and the Foreshore Promenade when large events are held.
We’d love for you to take part in the Boardwalk Extension feedback process now live on the ACT Government’s Your Say website. Do you want to see the awkward landscape around BAC infilled to create a beautiful community BBQ area? How about an interactive sculpture park that encourages kids to climb and play? An amphitheatre, or something completely out of left field? The Lake Ginninderra foreshore is a backyard for many of the residents in nearby apartments and townhouses, and with an expanded BAC set to become a 21st century town hall for the Belconnen region, it is essential that any development of the foreshore meets the current and future needs of the community who live and work on it.
Tell the ACT Government your views on the Belconnen Arts Centre Boardwalk Extension and the Bikeway project via the interactive map on the Your Say website; just click on the blue Comment icon and drag it over the area of the map you would like to comment on before 2 July 2018, when community consultation closes. Alternatively, fill in a hard copy survey at Belconnen or Kippax public library branches, and let others know what you think below!
Written by Skye Rutherford and Jack Lloyd.
How do you envision the Belconnen Arts Centre Boardwalk Extension?