Lake Macquarie City Council has won State Government support to create an art trail around the Lake that promises to become a significant attraction for local people and visitors alike.

Council was awarded a $285,000 grant for the Art Activation Program from the 2017-2018 Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure program, a Commonwealth-funded initiative administered by the State Government to support tourism projects that drive demand and increase local tourism expenditure.

Succession (detail) 2016, by Jamie North, at the Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery and Sculpture Park.

Council will commission nationally and internationally renowned artists to create art works in areas of high visibility and visitation around the Lake, creating a high-quality public art trail that can be followed on foot or by bike, boat or road.

Speers Point Park and Warners Bay foreshore have been identified as the first two sites for the art installations, as they are currently undergoing rejuvenation, but the complete trail will extend from the east to the west of the Lake. It will complement the existing Sculpture Park at Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery.

Council’s Manager Cultural Services, Jacqui Hemsley, said Council was delighted to secure State Government support for a project that would have many social, cultural and tourism benefits for the City.

“Council recognises that high-quality open spaces can be given added value through the innovative integration of art, to assist the community to develop a sense of identity, place and pride,” Ms Hemsley said.

“The incorporation of art works in public open spaces within high visitation areas can encourage a sense of ownership by locals, improve the City’s profile and also have the potential to create a positive economic impact.

“We expect this trail to become a popular tourist attraction in the same way that installations such as Bondi’s Sculpture by the Sea, the Orchid Art Trail in Singapore or Moreton Bay’s Redcliffe Foreshore Public Art Trail have enhanced the destination profile and visitation rates of those places.”

The Art Activation Program is part of a 10-year urban and public art program initiated by Council in 2017 that aims to integrate public art into major development projects.