The Gorman House renovation project aims to ensure the Centre continues to support a diversity of artists at different stages of their careers across disciplines and genres.

This dedicated Gorman Centenary Upgrades page houses project timelines, insight reports and all artsACT project updates. While this information has been compiled by Arts Capital, the Gorman House renovation project is owned and managed by the ACT Government.

For all official updates please refer to this ACT Government website: Gorman Arts Centre upgrade – Built for CBR (



Current artsACT Estimated Timeline

The most recent timeline, as included in artsACT Upgrades Bulletin #6.


  • Project team complete PSP (complete)
  • March: Issue final PSP to key stakeholders (Issued 23 March)
  • May: Commence detailed design
  • June: Complete room data sheets with stakeholders.
  • June: Appoint Project Manager.
  • August: Costing of detailed design (70%)
  • September: Value management/final scope of works determined 
  • October: Development Application submission 100% FSP 


  • February/March: Development Approval
  • March: Commence construction

Image: Upsplash

Ellis Jones Insight Reports

Please find below a link to the findings of the Ellis Jones Insights Report conducted on behalf of Arts Capital in 2021. This document provided a snapshot into who were the key audiences of Gorman Arts Centre, which informed the initial preliminary sketch plans for the Gorman Renovation.

Image: Stock

Purple Wisteria hangs along the eaves of Gorman Arts Centre, Tree stands in the middle of the courtyard.

Ellis Jones Presentation

Please see the presentation showing the findings for the Ellis Jones Insights Report, shared with Gorman residents in June 2022.

Download Ellis Jones presentation

Image: Rebecca Worth, 2021

Project History

The Gorman House renovation project aims to ensure the Centre continues to support a diversity of artists at different stages of their careers across disciplines and genres. Arts Capital sees the project as an opportunity not just for the site’s physical renewal, but vital in retaining the Centre’s spirit of place for future generations of artists, makers and practitioners.

Please see the below timeline which highlights important milestones of the project to date.


  • October: ACT Government allocate $1.67 million in the 2019-2020 Territory budget which includes, amongst other things, money for Capital works design for Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centre and site safety upgrades at each centre.



  • February: Arts Capital engage Ellis Jones to co-design and deliver the Centenary Renewal Planning Project.
  • April: Ellis Jones conducts 17 representative Stakeholder interviews – these interviews are used to give Ellis Jones direct insight into the role of the centres in the local sector and to guide all subsequent community engagement.
  • April – May: Ellis Jones conducts three surveys to capture feedback from the community. One aimed at visitors is distributed via Arts Capital’s mailing list, provided to residents and regular hirers to pass on to participants and visitors, and distributed via an external respondent panel to capture input from the broader ACT community. The second survey, designed to capture the input of the Ainslie and Gorman community, is shared with residents and regular hirers. The third survey is sent to Arts Capital Board and staff.
  • May: The Insights Report was produced by Ellis Jones and shared with artsACT to help guide initial concepts for renovation designs.
  • June – July: Residents are invited to provide detailed written submissions to outline and document their needs and preferences when thinking about potential renovations. Arts Capital received seven resident submissions from this process.
  • July: The first co-design workshop is held via Zoom with a focus on developing a place identity to define and articulate the unique array of attributes that make up the Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres. Work is also done to develop representative User Personas for both sites.
  • August: Second co-design workshop is held via Zoom with a focus on potential site activations.


  • March: Initial Preliminary Sketch Plan concept sketches are produced by Philip Leeson Architects and provided to Arts Capital. Sketches were not cleared for distribution.
  • May: Federal Labor Government pledges additional $5 million for Gorman House renovations as part of election promise. View full story here.
  • June: Interim Arts Capital CEO Adelin Chin hosts a presentation to residents providing key-findings from the Ellis Jones Insights Report, highlighting how these have been used to influence design approach. View the PowerPoint presentation here.
  • July – August: Arts Capital hosted 14 meetings with small groups of residents to discuss the initial design concepts.
  • August: – artsACT provide approval to Arts Capital to share March Preliminary Sketch Plans with residents.
  • August – October: Arts Capital facilitates 23 one-on-one meetings with residents and artsACT to look at the March Preliminary Sketch Plans and gather feedback directly from residents.
  • October: In their first budget, Federal Labor Government commits additional $5 million for Gorman House renovations.


  • February: ACT Budget Review secures $7.9 million for the upgrades to Gorman House. See the media release here.
  • February: artsACT give presentation to Gorman residents, showing Preliminary Sketch Plans which had been updated as a result of the feedback received. artsACT begins direct correspondence with residents in regards to the renovations, in the manner of a fortnightly update.


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