Sydney's Powerhouse Museum moves west to spread culture across city

by Tom Anstey | 23 Dec 2014

As part of a plan by the New South Wales government to boost cultural offerings outside of central Sydney, the Parramatta area in the west is about to gain a new science museum, relocated from the inner-city suburb of Ultimo.

The Powerhouse Museum, which has been in Ultimo since 1988, houses a collection of more than 400,000 objects dating all the way back to 1880. Operating primarily as a science museum, the Powerhouse also includes a collection reflecting Australia’s history in decorative arts, transport, costumes and media, alongside science, technology, communications, transport and space.

While a site for the relocation has not yet been confirmed, one potential area which has been identified is the Old Kings School in Parramatta. At present, less than five per cent of funding for arts in Sydney goes to the west of the city.

“The Powerhouse, with its focus on science and design, is more likely to be visited by students than tourists. If the museum is serious about increasing student visitation, then a move to the west makes great sense,” said Western Sydney’s Business Chamber director David Borger.

When announcing the plans, New South Wales premier, Mike Baird, would not commit to a timeframe or potential costs until all stakeholders had been consulted.

“Western Sydney deserves it,” said Baird. “We should have a great cultural precinct here and the Powerhouse is expected to be part of it.

“It’s an amazing opportunity and I think it shows we need to think well beyond the CBD of Sydney, we need to spread these opportunities across the city.”

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As part of a plan by the New South Wales government to boost cultural offerings outside of central Sydney, the Parramatta area in the west is about to gain a new science museum, relocated from the inner-city suburb of Ultimo. The Powerhouse Museum, which has been in Ultimo since 1988, houses a collection of more than 400,000 objects dating all the way back to 1880. Operating primarily as a science
VAT,HAM,AAC
The current Powerhouse Museum is located in the Ultimo area near central Sydney / Flickr.com/Arol
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