The Australian first Pride Centre is another step closer to becoming reality, with the Andrews Labor Government announcing it will be based at 79-81 Fitzroy Street in St Kilda.
Extensive consultation period was conducted with the LGBTI community to identify what was the important elements of a successful Pride Centre, particularly around location, and this feedback was factored into the decision to choose St Kilda.
“The Pride Centre is long overdue – it is exciting news for the LGBTI community and yet another welcome addition to St Kilda,” said Minister for Equality, Martin Foley. “Our LGBTI community has a lot to be proud of, I congratulate everyone involved and we looking forward to see the site come to life.”
The St Kilda site was successful as it was vacant and was offered on a freehold basis to the Victorian Pride Centre on behalf of the LGBTI community, provided it operates there for the next 20 years. It is expected works on the site will begin within the next twelve months. The planned redevelopment will provide the new Centre with desirable street frontage and will be a major drawcard for visitors and locals alike.
“We will own this site in perpetuity – and march by it every Pride March knowing it is ours,” said Victorian Pride Centre Board Chair, Jude Munro AO.
The Labor Government has invested $15 million toward the Pride Centre which will be bigger than San Francisco’s LGBTI Community Centre. It was the centrepiece of the Government’s $29 million Victorian Budget 16/17 package that continued record investment in services and facilities for LGBTI Victorians.
Mayor of the City of Port Phillip, Bernadene Voss said the new Victorian Pride Centre will accelerate the rejuvenation of Fitzroy Street and bring considerable cultural, social and economic benefits to St Kilda and the wider community.
“The Pride Centre will contribute to the proud and continuing history of Victoria’s LGBTIQ communities and will be warmly embraced by the people of St Kilda and Port Phillip more broadly,” said Cr Voss. “This landmark development is set to make a proud architectural statement with flow-on benefits to our truly inclusive community for many years to come.”
For more information, and to register for updates, visit: www.vicpridecentre.org.au for details.
Image: courtesy of the Victorian Pride Centre website