Abbotsford Convent and Collingwood Yards to receive $800k coronavirus-relief fund

Abbotsford Convent and Collingwood Yards to receive $800k coronavirus-relief fund

Words by Tom Parker

Two of Melbourne’s integral creative hubs have been propped up by the government.

Victoria’s Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, has just announced $800,000 to support Abbotsford Convent and Collingwood Yards, two of Melbourne’s most important creative hubs.

The financial assistance will go primarily towards providing rent relief for tenants, however a portion of the fund will contribute to the implementation of public health measures and to ensure that visitors can be welcomed back when it is safe to do so.

Of the $800k fund, $500k will be allocated to the Abbotsford Convent Foundation, the not-for-profit organisation that manages the convent precinct. 126 studio spaces, 20 event venues, two public galleries, four cafes, a school, radio station and the appending gardens will be better for the assistance.

The Abbotsford Convent not only houses more than 150 creative businesses but, in pre-pandemic times, hosted more than 4,000 events and welcomed a million visitors per year.

Collingwood Yards, the future residence of the soon-to-be relocating Music Victoria, PBS 106,7FM, The Push and Briggs’ burgeoning record label, Bad Apples, will receive the remaining $300,000 of the fund.

This precinct was scheduled to open in May, but disruptions caused by COVID-19 forced many tenants to delay or defer their arrival at the venue. The space is currently undergoing final building works and the $300k of assistance will go towards rent relief for tenants of the space as well as various public health measures.

“These Collingwood sites bring together hundreds of independent creative workers and businesses, and this support will help them survive and come back strong post pandemic,” Foley said of the announcement.

“With the shutdown, creative activity has ground to a halt. These supports are part of our work to ensure the future of Victoria’s creative community and thousands of creative jobs, and secure the future of these sites as creative and cultural opportunities.”

Find out more about the support fund here.

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