Funding gained for Roxy café renovation

October 27, 2009

Council and the Bingara Historical Society have been successful in their joint application for Federal funding to reinstate the Greek café within the Roxy building.

A grant of $750,000 was announced today by Federal Environment and Heritage Minister Peter Garrett for the restoration of the Roxy original Greek art deco café, construction of a conference centre on the first floor and restoration of the art deco shopfront. Relocation of the Bingara Tourist Information Centre to an adjoining shop within the complex is also part of the grant.

Mr Garrett announced 63 conservation projects across NSW that would be funded with the $13.7 million granted by the Australian Government and which is expected to create up to 918 jobs.

“All projects will provide a range of employment opportunities for local communities with recruitment on some projects to also target local Aboriginal people, providing them with an opportunity to work on country while gaining practical skills,” Mr Garrett said.

“It will also provide a boost to local economies with materials for the construction works being sourced from local suppliers. These projects clearly demonstrate how the Government’s Jobs Fund is having an immediate impact on local communities by developing skills and enhancing economic opportunities” Mr Garrett said.

Some of the other projects to gain funding from the Federal Government are the restoration and repair of the Rabbi’s residence of the old Broken Hill Synagogue with a grant of $62,000. $131,045 for the protection and conservation of Coonamble Railway Station building, $779,000 for the conservation of the major convict built structures on the central section of the Great North Road at Bucketty to prevent further deterioration due to traffic loading and vegetation build-up and $852,700 for the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area Human Fossil Trackway Interpretation.
The grant for the Roxy is among the largest for regional NSW.

Armidale based Heritage Architect, Tony Deakin, who designed the original Roxy restoration work will be the Project Manager for the next phase of the Roxy development.

General Manager, Max Eastcott said that he envisages a project management committee will be formed which will include Roxy Manager, Sandy McNaughton, Organisational Development Director, Leeah Daley, General Manager, Max Eastcott, and representatives from the Bingara Historical Society, Vision 2020 and the Barraba Veterinary Clinic. George Poulos and Peter Prineas, grandson of one of the original Roxy owners, Peter Feros will also be invited to join the committee.

An application was made to the Federal Government under the Jobs Fund Heritage Initiative for the project which entails renovation of the café, a first floor conference centre, new toilets, relocation of the Tourist Information Centre, air-conditioning and provision for architectural, electrical and structural engineers.

Mr Eastcott suggested that a Greek interpretive centre may be also be erected upstairs to acknowledge the great contribution Greeks made in regional Australia.