Council aims for Nautilus viability

The Port Lincoln City Council aims to reinforce the Nautilus Arts Centre as a cultural hub, at low cost to ratepayers, through a five-year business plan.

Community services manager Janet Grocke presented the business plan at the council’s meeting on September 3, with the council adopting the plan following a discussion.

The business plan will provide the council with insight of predicted operational costs and income with the aim of reducing its financial contribution while providing an arts and culture hub for Port Lincoln and surrounds.

One major change going forward is the increase of purchased shows as opposed to traditional facility hire.

Mrs Grocke said while this understandably had an increased risk for the council in what shows it purchased it would also mean shows could be more profitable as all ticket income remained with the Nautilus Arts Centre.

She said this was something that was happening with similar facilities across the country.

“The opportunity is there to do well, the risk is all for council so we’re being selective in what we show,” she said.

Mrs Grocke said there were many different strategies being put in place and it was working with centre coordinator Georgina Shirley to put them in place.

These strategies include developing fundraising and sponsorship opportunities for centre spaces and items, improved marketing of the centre across the region, using social media to attract youth volunteers and strengthen the relationship with Country Arts SA.

Other strategies such as using technology with elements including lighting and stage sound, and promoting online sales of tickets and gallery shop products are included in an effort to decrease costs.

Mrs Grocke said the centre continued to be a “fantastic venue” and the council was looking at opening it up for conferences, weddings and utilising all of its spaces.

“We’re trying to broaden the audience of people who come through the NAC through shows, performances, workshops...while minimising financial (impact) on the ratepayer,” she said.

As part of the business plan the council will also look at opportunities for utilising ArtEyrea, which will include an audit of facilities and equipment.

Mrs Grocke said the Port Lincoln arts community was keen to keep ArtEyrea as a workshop area and provide more for local artists.