Upgrading of The Substation’s premises to preserve structural integrity, arts centre ‘regularly engaged’ on move: National Arts Council
We refer to the TODAY report on The Substation published on Feb 4. The Substation has been funded by the National Arts Council (NAC) since 1990. It has been a tenant at 45 Armenian Street under the NAC Arts Housing Scheme on a yearly renewable lease.
We refer to the TODAY report on The Substation published on Feb 4 ("After more than 30 years, The Substation will vacate Armenian Street premises in end-July").
The Substation has been funded by the National Arts Council (NAC) since 1990.
It has been a tenant at 45 Armenian Street under the NAC Arts Housing Scheme on a yearly renewable lease.
The scheme was introduced in 1985 to provide affordable spaces for artists and arts groups.
As with other arts spaces under its purview, NAC is accountable for the structural integrity of its buildings and has to ensure that they meet prevailing building maintenance requirements.
As the building occupied by The Substation is a conserved property, NAC has assessed that there is a need for a major upgrading of the building to preserve its structural integrity.
The renovation works will be an opportunity to introduce technological features and improved design to support multi-disciplinary arts creation and presentation.
There is also the potential to improve public access and connectivity with diverse stakeholders in a historic arts and heritage precinct.
NAC had identified the need for upgrading in late 2017 arising from site inspections. The Substation was informed about this and consulted.
Following this, NAC delayed the renovation project and extended The Substation’s lease to accommodate its 30th anniversary programming on the premises.
Since then, NAC has also engaged The Substation and its key stakeholders regarding its needs and plans.
The council has also offered The Substation interim space options and provided additional funding to support its needs during this period.
With the renovations completed, the building will be a newly refurbished arts centre that offers subsidised tenancy spaces under the Framework for Arts Spaces.
Introduced in 2011, it offers leases on a 3+3+3-year basis.
The spaces at the renovated building are envisioned to be more accessible and inclusive, with enhanced digital capabilities available for the arts community to hire.
The design will also facilitate greater connectivity with other cultural and educational institutions in the precinct.
NAC has regularly engaged with The Substation on this issue.
It has conveyed to The Substation that it will be given the option of returning to the current location and utilising the revamped spaces as a tenant under the Framework for Arts Spaces.
With the increasingly vibrant arts scene, and artists and arts groups seeking physical spaces to support their work, NAC has informed The Substation that the council will also engage other arts groups on their interest to co-locate with it at 45 Armenian Street.
The Substation’s major company funding has been sustained and renewed for the financial years 2020 to 2022 at a quantum pegged to the highest 25th percentile of 52 major companies funded by NAC.
In the financial year 2020, The Substation further received funding of more than S$350,000 for jobs support, digitalisation and capability development.
NAC will continue to support the baseline operations of The Substation and its plans where they are aligned with the strategic priorities outlined in Our SG Arts Plan and benchmarked with the funding support provided to other comparable major companies.
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