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Goldfields fire station gallery to re-open

An art gallery housed in a 161-year-old fire station will re-open its doors this weekend after multi-million dollar face-lift.

The Central Goldfields Art Gallery in Western Victoria's Maryborough is located in the town's circa 1861 fire station, but has been closed since 2021 for an overhaul.

Central Goldfields Shire Mayor Grace La Vella said the council was thrilled to announce the reopening of the gallery.

"We know excitement has been building for the re-opening and so are looking forward to welcoming both locals and visitors through the doors to help us celebrate this special occasion for our Shire," Ms La Vella said in a statement.

Central Goldfields Art Gallery coordinator Helen Kaptein said the redeveloped gallery was a space the community could be proud of, and spruiked its upcoming exhibitions.

"We're delighted to be opening the doors with the Ladder to the Stars: Dean Bowen Sculptures exhibition," Ms Kaptein said.

"Dean Bowen was born in Maryborough and is now a renowned artist both nationally and internationally."

The annual community art exhibition and pieces from the permanent collection will also be on display.

The Victorian government's regional tourism fund and the council contributed almost $2.3 million to the project to open the building's floor-plan and improve its lighting, flooring and accessibility.

Regional development minister Harriet Shing said planning was underway for an Indigenous interpretive garden near the gallery, which will acknowledge and celebrate the Dja Dja Wurrung People.

"We backed the Central Goldfields Art Gallery redevelopment because it created critical jobs throughout construction and will continue to deliver a boost to Maryborough's economy and vibrant creative scene for years to come," Ms Shing said.

Rippon MP Martha Haylett also expressed her excitement at the gallery's reopening.

"This gallery means so much to the Maryborough community and it's great to see it reopening to the public after our support to make it better than ever for more locals and visitors to enjoy," Ms Haylett said.