Help us re-open The Wesley

Wesley Dec 2023 copy.jpg

Restore, Refresh and Re-open

The historic Wesley Performing Arts and Cultural Centre (WPACC) was a much-loved regional performing arts venue until it closed in 2017. The WPACC Committee is working to reopen the venue.

A fundraising campaign will take place from March-August 2024.

The campaign will raise funds to refurbish the building, which will be known as “The Wesley”. The campaign will reopen the facility for community use, providing a modern, multi-purpose venue that meets all safety standards and is accessible.

What is the fundraising target?

Wesley Performing Arts and Cultural Centre (WPACC) Committee is seeking contributions from the public to reach a fundraising goal of $550,000.
This will allow WPACC to seek matching Government funds for the project’s $2.0M upgrade.
The Committee and the Council currently have $450,000 in cash contributions.
We now need your help to meet our target and get this valuable community asset reopened for the public to use and enjoy.

What will change at The Wesley?

• Main hall will be flexible and adaptive with a new flat floor design.
• Whole venue will be on the same level, eliminating need for ramps or lifts, this is
• A significant improvement for audience, performances or users of the space.
• Back of house area will be fully accessible and provide child-safe compliance.
• The redesigned entrance will be compliant for people with disabilities or mobility issues.
• Movable seating, sound and light equipment will be fit for purpose.
• Heritage listed organ pipes will remain in the same place.
• Portable staging can be customised / repositioned for any type of performance.
• Building will meet all current regulations and compliance standards.
• Creates a small venue for public use, in the central activity district.

How can I donate?

The WPACC is a not-for-profit group with Deductable Gift Recipient and Tax Concession Charity (TCC) status.
Donations can be made multiple ways:

1. In person payments can be received at:

The Horsham Town Hall  
Box Office, 71 Pynsent Street, Horsham. 7 days a week, 10am–4pm.

Your donation can be made by cash, cheque, or electronic cash transfer. 
All donations will be receipted and acknowledged. 

2. Via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).

Donations can be made directly to the Wesley Performing Arts & Culture Centre Inc through EFT

Account name: Wesley Performing Arts
BSB: 033 629  
Acc No: 362747 

Please ensure your name is included with your EFT payment.

Acknowledgement of donations

All contributions will be acknowledged on the Wesley Donations web page and on an honour board once the facility is upgraded. 

If you require a receipt for taxation purposes, please contact the Committee via email on:  
A receipt and acknowledgement will be issued to you. 

All donations over $2 are tax deductible  
The Committee is a not-for-profit group, with Deductible Gift Recipient and Tax Concession Charity (TCC) status.

Mary Starr, President 
M: 0457 946 285 

Carolynne Hamdorf- Arts Culture and Recreation Manager Horsham Rural City Council 
M: 0428 505 605 




"Thank you for the kind invitation to the opening of the new direction for The Wesley after all these years.

It was an honour to be on the first working committee, so enthusiastically led by Wendy Weight. It was exciting to see its growth over those years when the only other choices for performances were the old Town Hall and the Theatre, both fabulous spaces but huge to fill for smaller occasions. 

The Wesley is an important venue and community space for Horsham and District, and I am thrilled it is to be renewed and developed. 

I recall staging wonderful Horsham College performances in that small space that so well-suited young student performances, with its excellent acoustics.  And of course there were community events galore, and national and international arts and music in the intimate space.

As well I recall some of the physical issues of working there, including access issues during the years of the Awakenings Festival and other all-abilities events. It's good to see these being addressed in the new plan.

It is with regret that I could not be there on the 24th, but I am still hugely interested in The Wesley and all it has meant for Horsham and the memories it will create as it moves into the future.

Thank you again for the invitation. Fond regards to all involved. "

Marg Scott


History of The Wesley

The Wesley (previously, Wesley Performing Arts & Cultural Centre Inc.) is a historic building in Horsham. Located at 17A Roberts Avenue. The building, constructed in 1912, was originally the Horsham Wesley Methodist Church.

The inaugural Wesley Performing Arts and Cultural Centre Inc. (PACC) Committee was established in 1993 to acquire The Wesley Church and transform it into a thriving Performing Arts Centre.

After a huge amount of support from philanthropic and community sources over many years, the venue opened in 1998.

This included a generous gift from the Handbury Foundation of $200,000, which significantly assisted in getting the venue operational.

For 20 years, Wesley was a thriving performing arts centre with a diverse cultural program and a genuine community facility. The venue was recognised for its unique acoustic characteristics and heritage significance. In 1998, Wesley PACC won Victoria's Heritage Building Preservation Award and the Victorian Design Award in 2000.

Since its inception, Wesley PACC Inc. has been managed by a voluntary committee of management.

When opened in 1998, it was the only performing arts centre in Victoria operated independently of local council.

In 2007 Council appointed a venue manager to facilitate programming and management of the facility. Council leased the facility from June 2016 to December 2017 and managed the venue under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Wesley PACC Inc.

This arrangement worked very successfully, programming smaller professional touring shows and community events. In its last year of operation (2016-2017), 6,647 people attended forty-seven events.

The new Horsham Town Hall (HTH) facility opened in Feb 2016, which saw both Wesley PACC and the HTH deliver complementary programming and services for approximately 18 months, under the direction of Council staff and resourcing.

Both facilities operated in tandem and met the need and demand for community bookings, external promoters, and civic events.

The two facilities offered diverse spaces, which differed in scale, size, cost, and acoustics. It is this model of service provision that both the Committee and Council are seeking to reinstate once The Wesley meets and addresses the required safety and compliance measures.