About the Project

The redevelopment of the Cowes Cultural and Community Centre involves replacing the existing Centre, to bring together the cultural and social aspirations of the community and draw visitors in to showcase the history and culture of the region. The new facility will encourage a range of community activities and events.

During the construction program, the building will generate 69 jobs and once built, 30 ongoing jobs and it will provide $51.8 million in economic benefit over the life of the project.

In line with Council’s Climate Change Action Plan, this Centre will be built, designed and certified to Passivhaus Standards, making it the most environmentally significant building in the region.

This $27.2 million project has received funding support from the State Government, including $2.5 million from the Growing Suburbs Fund, $800,000 from the Living Libraries Infrastructure Program and a $10 million loan from the Community Infrastructure Loans Scheme, as well as $5 million in funding from the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Program.

  • The project will set new high standards in the provision of multi-use public community spaces, and in particular, deliver an accessible and functional building which contributes to best practice place making principles;
  • The new centre will be a destination building with interesting architecture, while providing service for the Council and Community;
  • Creating a dynamic and interactive place for people that is a source of community pride where groups can interact together;
  • Secure the long-term use and improve the functionality, safety and efficiency;
  • Incorporate Universal Design principles, expand and diversify the existing programs and services and improve access;
  • Support the projected growth in population and identify the local demand for cultural, artistic and community programs and services;
  • Best meets the communities’ needs giving consideration to Council’s existing strategic financial and cultural priorities;
  • Increase the lifestyle and liveability opportunities for new and existing residents and visitors to the Shire; and
  • Provide the centre point for cultural and heritage experiences and learning.

A revised concept of the Cowes Cultural and Community Centre was approved in October 2019. This concept maximised spaces for community groups, increased storage and enabled the design to function more effectively.

In February 2020, we sought tender responses for the detail design of the new facility.A design team has now been appointed. The detail design of the facility will include ongoing consultation with community groups and key stakeholders.

Construction of the new facility has started with a completion date by end March 2023.

The new Cowes Cultural and Community Centre is forecast to generate $51.8 million in benefit to the Bass Coast economy over the life of the project. The state government recently committed to the project, allocating $10 million via its Community Infrastructure Loans Scheme. The many economic and job benefits this project will bring the region ensures it will continue to progress. A new Cowes Cultural and Community Centre has been forecast in Council’s Long-Term Financial Plan. It’s location in the mid-block of Cowes will rejuvenate the activity centre and instil a sense of pride for Bass Coast whilst being the new home for many community uses and activities.

An extensive program of community and key stakeholders’ engagement has occurred over the past 5 years in developing the current concept design. Some of the consultation that has occurred includes:

  • The establishment of a Council endorsed Working Group comprised of representatives from seven key stakeholder groups plus four community representatives.
  • Written correspondence to every resident on Phillip Island with an invitation to review the Cowes Cultural and Community Centre concept design.
  • Distribution of over 12,000 flyers to owners, occupiers, post office boxes and non-resident owners.
  • Pop up community sessions with an overall attendance exceeding 360 people providing comment.
  • Social media posts and published media releases


March 2023

  • Continue preparing for all services to go in
  • Continue bricking the south + west façade as well as bathrooms framing
  • Continue insulation and soundproofing to roof and ceiling.
  • Prepare the dock leveller footings.
  • Complete structural steel to stage 3
  • Complete roofing to all areas and screed plant room

Latest project pictures

January 2023 Update