The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has purchased the Parry Street buildings adjacent to the current diocesan offices in Newcastle West, which were recently the subject of a Public Expression of Interest sale campaign by Newcastle City Council.
The buildings, previously St Aloysius’ Girls High School, were sold to the diocese by the Council, and settled on 2nd February. The buildings currently house two local organisations - Newcastle Community Arts Centre (NCAC) and Trees in Newcastle (TIN).
Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, Bill Wright, said the purchase of the Parry Street buildings showed the diocese’s ongoing commitment to expanding services and taking an active role in the revitalisation of the west end of Newcastle:
“I am excited that the diocese has purchased these buildings, given their historical significance to our diocesan story. The Sisters of Mercy, whose exemplary work in education in this region is well known, have a long history within the walls of these buildings and the neighbouring buildings in which we currently work.
“It is my hope that any future expansion of diocesan and other uses within these newly purchased buildings exemplifies the Mercy values of spirituality, service, hospitality and culture,” Bishop Bill said.
The diocese is supporting the two current tenants, Newcastle Community Arts Centre (NCAC) and Trees in Newcastle (TIN), by underwriting their leases for two years to ensure they are well supported through this transition of building owners.
The Administrator of NCAC, Wendy Peacock, is grateful for the diocesan support and extra time in the current premises for this vibrant and important community organisation.
“Everyone associated with NCAC is committed to its future and we will be endeavouring to meet the need for a more permanent home with enthusiasm, determination and a sense of purpose. With a transitional period of two years from the diocese, we have time to invest in finding the right premises for us to support our continued growth in the region,” Ms Peacock said.
Deputy Chairperson of Trees in Newcastle, Leah De Bastos, agrees.
“We are looking to the future with excitement and know that with continued community support TIN will go from strength to strength in its new location. We appreciate the support of the diocese during the next couple of years,” Ms De Bastos said.
Following the recent settlement, the diocese is now working on plans for the redevelopment of the site to accommodate expansion of diocesan operations as well as other compatible uses.
For more information, please contact Communications Manager, Kate Bennett, on 0419 263 901.