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11 October 2017
A feasibility study is underway to assess how to maximise use of the Cambridge town hall.
The hall is a category two historic building owned by Waipa District Council and recognised by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. It was designed and built more than 100 years ago and remains a Cambridge focal point.
The town hall gets sporadic use, hosting between 17-20 weddings a year as well as other functions. But its age means it has some shortcomings, making it unappealing and unusable for some groups. They include a lack of catering facilities and technical equipment, and an impractical stage and backstage area.
Currently the income received from hall users falls well short of covering the annual costs to maintain the building.
Ken Morris, Group Manager - Business Support, said Council is committed to preserving and maintaining the town hall which he says is an iconic Cambridge landmark.
"It's a stunning building and as part of our heritage we have an obligation and a desire to preserve and maintain it," he said.
"But we should invest in a way that enables the community to get maximum use from the hall. It could be a real drawcard so let's leverage that. But to do so, we need to understand the perspective of users and potential users and have a very clear idea of what might need to change in the future."
The feasibility study will consider a range of issues including the town hall's current use, perceived shortcomings and what it does and doesn't offer in comparison to other venues. Consideration will be also given to possible operating and funding models, including best use of the i-SITE space at the rear of the hall, the forecourt plaza and Jubilee Gardens.
Discussions have begun with user groups and other interested parties with a report expected back to Council later this month. The report will recommend any changes, including any upgrades to amenities.
If change is to be considered, recommendations on what to do and what it might cost will be included in the Council's draft 10-Year Plan. The draft 10-Year Plan will be formally shared with the community for feedback in March next year.
For more information, contact: Nicole Nooyen 027 807 3478