THERE is plenty of evidence that the conversion of the old woollen mills at North Ipswich into a culture and arts centre for the next generation will be a success in every sense of the word.
Ipswich's Don Walker, who is with the Creative Industries and Technologies of the Future (CITOF) group that submitted a visionary plan for future use of the building to Ipswich City Council, explains why.
The CITOF group has based its ideas around what was done with a space called 'Carriageworks' in the inner Sydney suburb of Eveleigh.
"That is an old railway building down there where they made carriages," Mr Walker said.
"It has been very successful and is heading towards one million visitors a year.
"It is the conversion of an 1890s building like the woollen mills. It even has the same light fittings.
"It has contemporary performances, fresh food markets and everything to do with the creative side of things like cooking and fashion.
"They have the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week there.
"They have performance art, installation art and musicians - the full works basically.
"There are creative people communicating with each other so there are all sorts of fresh ideas popping up all the time."
The plan is to utilise the woollen mills for markets, which is what also takes place at Carriageworks with its award winning farmers' market.
The Carriageworks website states that the building where it is housed was the old Eveleigh Rail Yards which "has been developed by the NSW State Government through Arts NSW.
"The distinctive 19th century industrial atmosphere of the former railway carriage and blacksmith workshops have been retained, with many heritage iron and brick details featured in the regeneration of the building," the site says.
The old woollen mills building offers the same scope for regeneration to house what Mayor Paul Pisasale and Mr Walker have already discussed in the QT.
It is remarkable how similar their visions for the space, and what is already being done with the contemporary multi-arts centre at Carriageworks, lines up.
The Carriageworks website goes on to say that its artistic program "is ambitious, risk taking and provides significant support to leading Australian and international artists through commissioning and presenting contemporary work.""The program is artist-led and emerges from Carriageworks commitment to reflecting social and cultural diversity," it goes on to say.
CITOF has a similar ethos with performing arts, visual arts and culture all part of the proposal of what could be housed in the woollen mills.