New Museum and Cultural Precinct to Transform Parramatta


The City of Parramatta and the NSW Government have announced they will deliver a new arts and cultural precinct on a site next to the Parramatta River.

The decision was the first major step in the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum to Sydney’s west.

The precinct will include a new flagship Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), and an enlarged and enhanced Riverside Theatres. This vibrant, interactive, world-class cultural institution will be on the cutting edge of science and innovation, open for all people of NSW, as well as national and international visitors.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Parramatta and the NSW Government had entered into a $140 million agreement which laid the foundations for a vibrant arts and cultural precinct in Parramatta and secured the best site for the new Powerhouse Museum in Parramatta.

“The relocated Powerhouse Museum in Parramatta will be the anchor for arts and culture for the region, and now the site for the museum is locked in," Premier Berejiklian said.

“The Powerhouse at Parramatta will include the best exhibits currently at Ultimo, and will build on them. The new Powerhouse in Parramatta will be bigger and better than anything this State has seen and will be a drawcard for domestic and international visitors.”


The $140 million in-principle agreement will see:

  • The NSW Government purchasing the riverfront site for the Powerhouse Museum (Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences)
  • The City of Parramatta committing $40 million to fund and grow arts and culture in the community over the next 20 years
  • A partnership between the NSW Government and the Council for a $100 million redevelopment of the Riverside Theatre with the State taking a 50 per cent interest in the project.


“The new precinct will deliver this, anchored by a flagship museum and world-class theatre that will draw audiences from across greater Sydney and beyond.

“It will create new opportunities for students and young people from across the region to experience arts, culture, science and innovation without needing to travel to the Sydney CBD.

“Our agreement with the Government will also ensure Riverside Theatres reaches its full potential, with $100 million to be invested in enlarging and upgrading the Theatres under an equal joint venture arrangement with the NSW Government.

“This long-held policy, which was formally endorsed by Council in 2014, will ensure the future of this much-loved cultural facility.”

The cultural precinct is predicted to be both a local and an international tourist destination with the potential to draw up to one million visitors a year. Deloitte estimate the precinct will deliver at least $106 million in today’s dollars and 150 jobs boost for the region.

City of Parramatta Council established an Expert Steering Committee to provide advice to Council during the negotiations.

The new museum will be built on the riverbank, on a site otherwise known to locals as the old David Jones carpark site.

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