News

Economic benefits flow

by
August 29, 2017

Art space... The Waaia silo is one of many across the region that are a potential blank canvas.

Although the Silo Art Trail is located in the Wimmera-Mallee region, the economic benefits have flowed into surrounding localities as well, according to one council tourism officer.

Loddon Shire tourism and marketing officer Robyn Vella said the council area, which includes towns such as Boort, Inglewood and Pyramid Hill, had reaped some of the benefits of the trail.

Labelling the tourism boost as a ‘‘win-win situation’’, Ms Vella said the benefits presented themselves in the shire in a number of ways, from visitors picking up a coffee or filling up their car with fuel, to staying in hotels across the region.

‘‘Loddon visitor info centre really supports the project and are sending visitors to those areas. It’s amazing what the artists have done and it’s a credit to the artists, and the country towns need to capitalise on that,’’ she said.

Ms Vella said the council placed an emphasis on not putting up boundaries, and collaborating with the surrounding areas to ensure others could experience the art trail.

The shire has been exploring a number of different concepts and themes that could form an artistic statement of its own, and Ms Vella said it was interested in something that would complement the silo art trail but still set it apart.

‘‘There are many ways that art can be expressed, it doesn’t just have to be on silos,’’ she said.

‘‘We are investigating (a number of possibilities) but are mindful that visitors want an experience, so you don’t want to do the same thing — we all want to work together, but you want to have a point of difference also.’’

Following support from all forms of government, the Victorian Government earlier this month committed to investing a further $500000 in the region in an attempt to further grow visitor numbers and create new jobs.

On track to become the country’s biggest outdoor gallery, with the Silo Art Trail already incorporating five towns, street art network Juddy Roller’s director Shaun Hossack, who developed the trail, has expressed support for expanding the silo trail further.

The Victorian Government is also encouraging community-backed grant submissions.

■Do you have a silo in your local community you’d like to see utilised for art? Contact Alana Christensen on 5820 3237 or email alana.christensen@ sheppnews.com.au

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