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22 Sep 2017

Theatre matters set for public consultation

Two significant theatre projects will be the subject of public consultation processes following today’s Hamilton City Council meeting.

The Council wants wider public feedback on the proposed Waikato Regional Theatre and the future of Founders Theatre, which was closed in February 2016 due to safety concerns.

Founders remain under the Council’s management and ownership, while Momentum Waikato is leading planning and design work for the proposed Waikato Regional Theatre.

Sean Murray, the Council’s General Manager of Events, Venues and Tourism, says both theatre issues are significant to the wider community so it’s prudent for the Council to seek public opinion.

Mr Murray says the Waikato Regional Theatre project will be one of the key discussion points for the Council as it enters its 10-Year Plan process.

“The Council has, in principle, committed $30 million to the proposed Waikato Regional Theatre, but the significance of that investment requires us to go out to our community to seek its views,” Mr Murray says.

As part of its discussion on the Waikato Regional Theatre item, the Council also directed staff to provide detailed feedback to Momentum Waikato on the proposed theatre design and recommended Victoria St site.

“That direction allows us to have some more detailed and robust discussions with Momentum and its experts,” Mr Murray says.

Meanwhile, the public will also have an opportunity to provide comment on the future of Founders theatre.

Mr Murray says the Council is aware of the community significance of the Founders Theatre, and as part of the public consultation process will present the public and interested groups with three options for its future – demolition, partial demolition and reuse, or reinstatement of the building (including some important earthquake strengthening and upgrades) for alternative community use.

The public consultation for both theatre matters is expected to occur in October and November 2017.