$4m upgrade lined up for town hall

Talitha WolfeAlbany Advertiser

Major upgrades to Albany Town Hall are set to transform the heritage-listed building into a multi-purpose exhibition space.

The $4 million project will re-purpose the building into a quality exhibition and cultural space.

The City of Albany council endorsed the project after receiving a $1.6 million Lotterywest grant.

This comes after an unsuccessful National Stronger Regions Fund $1.9 million application in March.

It has been three decades since the last significant renovations to the town hall and City chief executive Andrew Sharpe said the space had been underused for several years.

The grant will be used to upgrade, fit out and landscape the town hall and Alison Hartman Gardens.

“The Albany community has, for a long time, expressed a desire for a suitable high-quality exhibition space in the region as well as having the town hall as central to the civic and cultural identity of Albany,” Mr Sharpe said.

“Since 2010, the Town Hall has largely been underutilised and inaccessible by the community and visitors to the region, but it is an important heritage asset both at a State and national level, and much-loved by Albany residents.”

According to the agenda tabled at council, the town hall effectively closed after the Albany Entertainment Centre opened in 2010, and community consultation undertaken by the City identified a need for a regional gallery and cultural space.

Mr Sharpe said Alison Hartman Gardens was also an underused space and the project would enhance cultural tourism in Albany.

“(Alison Hartman Gardens) lacks interface with the surrounding assets, so our goal is to redesign the gardens to link in with the library, new tourism and information hub and the future student housing development to create a contemporary, vibrant and connected civic space in the heart of our city,” he said.

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