Sydney’s Carriageworks set to reopen following multi-million-dollar bailout

Australia’s largest contemporary multi-arts precinct will reopen to the public later this week after securing a financial lifeline.

Carriageworks collapsed back in May due to an “irreparable loss of income” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with reports emerging at the time that the Berejiklian government was considering a takeover of the historic venue via the Opera House Trust.

Following a 10-week voluntary administration process conducted by KPMG, Carriageworks’ creditors overwhelmingly accepted the deed of company arrangement proposed and negotiated by the company’s board of directors at the second meeting last month.

The deal includes a long-term lease and five years’ worth of funding thanks to a group of wealth benefactors and the NSW government.

Carriageworks will reopen to the public on Friday 7 August, with visitors to be offered free access to a range of visual art installations by leading Australian and international artists, including eight new commissions as part of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, a major exhibition by Giselle Stanborough and public artwork by Reko Rennie.

The weekly Carriageworks Farmers Market will resume from Saturday 8 August, with strict health and safety measures to be put in place.

Carriageworks CEO Blair French said: “The future of Carriageworks has been secured thanks to extraordinary support from a group of donors and commitment to providing a long-term precinct lease from the NSW government.

“The impact of our closure has been felt across a wide range of communities. We are now excited to welcome the public back to Carriageworks to reconnect with and support producers from across the state through the much-loved weekly Carriageworks Farmers Market, as well as to experience powerful works by Australian and international artists.”

Featured image source: iStock/kokkai