Two venerable arts institutions may become one under a proposal being entertained by the NSW government. According to an ABC report, the Sydney Opera House has confirmed the government has asked it to “consult on the long-term sustainability” of Carriageworks. Carriageworks announced earlier this week that it has gone into voluntary administration, saying cancellations and postponements of six months of work due to Covid-19 have caused an irreparable loss of income.
Before administrators were called in, the government was pushing for the multi-arts venue to be handed to the Opera House due to poor finances, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. In April, Carriageworks froze spending and stood down half its core staff. Should the corporate entity be dissolved, the government would be able to put the lease to tender; government sources tell the Sydney Morning Herald that the Opera House is the best placed arts institution to successfully take over the organisation.
Carriageworks generates 75 per cent of its income from non-government funding, mainly through on-site events and programs. It opened in 2007 and hosts one million visitors annually at events such as Sydney Writers’ Festival, Vivid and its weekly farmers markets.