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Works are progressing at the $14.53 million Port of Sale Cultural Hub and Precinct project in Sale.

The Federal Government has provided $4.5 million toward the creation of a new art gallery, library, visitor centre, council chamber and café.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the project would benefit locals and visitors.“For too long we have not realised the full potential of the Port of Sale precinct and this new cultural hub will open up the area like never before,” Mr Chester said.

“The hub will provide better arts and library facilities for local residents, while also giving visitors another reason to stop and enjoy the port precinct and explore Sale, instead of driving through.

“The Federal Government’s contribution of $4.5 million is another sign of confidence in the local community and I look forward to seeing this community asset fully operational.”

From the exterior on the port side of the building, works are underway with concrete poured to prepare the new southern entrance. The overhanging concrete panel facades facing the port have been cut back, which will open up views of the Port of Sale from the new library, visitor centre and cafe areas and bring significant light into the building.

Residents and visitors may have noticed a large crane on site over the last few weeks with the eastern courtyard roof trusses going in complete, over what will be a fully enclosed
two-storey, feature art gallery as part of the Gippsland Art Gallery. The western courtyard will also be enclosed to form a two-storey, roofed library atrium.

The western courtyard floor has been cut through making way for new amphitheatre-style stairs from the lower ground level to be constructed. These stairs and bleachers, along with a new lift, will lead to the library and visitor centre areas from the new lower level entrance of the building.

Internal wall framing and the beginning of plastering sees the new zones and work areas taking shape throughout the building. A variety of trades including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic and communications services are also currently on site.

Foster Street roadworks, improved pedestrian access and Canal Road works to improve parking and access for car and recreational vehicles are almost complete. Desailly Street is now closed to traffic south of the highway and will be replaced with a pedestrian promenade and forecourt linking the new Wellington Centre and The Wedge entertainment centre.

Park Street bridge replacement works are now in progress, with detours in place for residents, visitors and boaters, and are due for completion mid-year. The single lane bridge is being replaced with two lanes and a pedestrian bridge.

Works at Sale Skate Park are currently on track for the reopening of the skate park before winter.

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