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Wholehearted results for HEART

Despite the implications of COVID-19 on business practice, the Margaret River HEART has delivered an atypical result for a venue in the first year of operation and will exceed budget projections this year.

The inaugural HEART team’s efforts in technical and operational systems set up, and the simultaneous delivery of events, has attracted more than 30,000 attendances and more than 300 events since opening, the bulk of which have occurred over the past 12 months.

The venue has also hosted four conferences, 77 cinema screenings, 27 live performances and over 620 volunteer hours provided by a volunteer team of 50.

Margaret River HEART General Manger Nicky Hansen said the HEART has delivered an event schedule that compares to larger facilities in major cities.

“More than fifty per cent of events this year have been community events, with many supported by the HEART Grant program,” she said.

“The team has worked with volunteers and the community to generate events that support the community, such as free weekly [email protected] performances in the foyer and the inaugural [email protected] Music Program which supports local talent.

“We’ve also featured 14 community artist exhibitions and 16 creative workshops for young people in the school holidays.”

The HEART Grant Program has helped 17 organisations deliver 21 events through the allocation of $62, 810 in funding to assist access to the centre since launching in 2019/20.

The team has worked closely and collaboratively with Arts Margaret River and will continue to actively support their activities, along with the activities of many other local arts organisations.

“Although COVID-19 border closures remain a threat, a high level of enquiry from both commercial and community hirers moving forward is expected,” Ms Hansen said.

“The centre is in a solid position looking into the 2021/2022 event schedule with 51 definite events and a further 30 leads. This is strong start for the next financial year.

“The HEART is proving it’s worth as a major tourism asset, generating more than 1000 room nights to date, which conservatively injects more than $250,000 into the local economy.

“There are also two significant conferences already confirmed for 2022, bringing much needed mid-week visitation.”

With borders opening in the future, it is anticipated that the HEART will be a very busy centre with a balance of both commercial and community events.

2020-21 HIGHLIGHTS

  • More than 30,000 attendances
  • More than 300 events
  • Four conferences
  • Regular local artist exhibitions on display in the foyer
  • 77 cinema screenings
  • 27 live performances including Ben Elton, Ross Noble, 1927, WAYJO, and Ross Noble
  • Over 620 volunteer hours provided by a volunteer team of 50
  • HEART Grant program has assisted more than 20 community events in the facility.
  • Over 1000 room nights contributing at least $250,000 to the local economy.
  • Healthy forward projections with the conference market showing high interest in the facility which will see conference bookings confirm in the next three to five years.