A NEW performing arts centre is needed and the Ipswich City Council has some compelling figures to back the claim.
Councillor Charlie Pisasale, who heads the council's cultural services committee, is working hard to ensure the planned $100million Ipswich Performing Arts Centre gets the government support it will need.
When the council states its case for funding it will be able to present many compelling reasons why IPAC is a must for the city.
New council figures reveal another strong season of performing arts in Ipswich has resulted in more than 8000 people passing through the doors of the Civic Centre and Studio 188 between April and June, an increase of more than 2000 in the same period last year.
"Increasing attendance by a third in one year is an amazing achievement and testament to the hard work and creative thinking of council staff and the Ipswich creative community," Cr Pisasale said.
"A huge amount of work over the last 12 months has gone into developing a stronger appreciation of performing arts in Ipswich and this is especially true of Studio 188, Ipswich's state-of-the-art home of contemporary and experimental performance and cinema.
"When we built 188 it was because we recognised the missing piece in the city's live arts was a home for edgier and more creative works that appeal to a more intimate venue.
"These figures show our aggressive approach to curating a program of carefully chosen creative works, while actively developing a dedicated audience for this venue, has paid off."
Cr Pisasale is driving the campaign for IPAC.
He said the rapid growth of Ipswich into a cultural hub now meant the Civic Centre was too small to cater for the requirements of bigger shows and functions. Plans for a performing arts centre were drawn up several years ago.
"The city deserves it," Cr Pisasale said.