Albany’s historic town hall has entered a new era as a multi-purpose arts venue following a major refurbishment supported by the McGowan Government.
The building was officially reopened today after the completion of a project that included remodelling the interior of the upper floor auditorium.
Completed in 1888, the Albany Town Hall was the focal point of municipal and cultural affairs in Albany and the Great Southern for more than 120 years, including three decades as the city’s main performing arts venue until the opening of the Albany Entertainment Centre in 2010.
The refurbishment removed tiered seating installed in the 1980s, creating an open space suited to events, live music and performances.
Contemporary gallery spaces are now available to present quality art exhibitions and to display works from the City of Albany’s significant art collection.
The $3.7 million refurbishment was supported by the McGowan Government, the Commonwealth Government, the City of Albany and Lotterywest.
Smart systems supported by a $100,000 McGowan Government investment through the Regional Economic Development (RED) Grants program provide public wi-fi, security, lighting and energy control, and interpretive features for a heritage and culture trail.
The RED Grants program is delivering $28.8 million over five years to Western Australia’s nine regions.
As stated by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“Almost every long-term resident of Albany would have a sense of connection to the Albany Town Hall and the events that it has hosted over the years.
“This project embeds Albany’s grand old landmark in the cultural and creative life of a new generation, with smart systems to match thanks to the RED Grants program.
“Revitalising the Town Hall is complemented by other McGowan Government-supported developments around Albany’s main street, including the recently completed student accommodation at 121 Serpentine, helping to breathe new life into the city centre.”
As stated by Albany MLA-elect Rebecca Stephens:
“The Town Hall is an Albany icon, and this refurbishment has transformed it into a contemporary venue that will play an important role in our community for years to come.
“Albany’s town centre is going from strength to strength, backed by the McGowan Government’s investment into a whole range of projects to support our community.”