Sunday, May 26, 2024

$16m redevelopment on track for iconic Albert Hall

City of Launceston Council says the $16 million redevelopment of the eastern wing of Launceston’s iconic Albert Hall is progressing well, with several important areas of construction now complete.

The project is reconstructing the 1980s-era eastern wing extension to bring a range of enhancements to Albert Hall, and is expected to be completed by March 2025 – supported by $11 million from the Australian Government, over $5.5 million from the Council, and $60,000 from the Tasmanian Government.

It’s part of the $603 million Launceston City Deal, which is a 10-year partnership between all three levels of government aimed at transforming Launceston into Australia’s most liveable and innovative regional city.

“The council understands and welcomes the passion Northern Tasmanians have for the Hall, which was built in 1891 for 14,000 pounds, and was at the time the 11th largest public building in the world,” said Mayor, Matthew Garwood.

“The redevelopment of the hall’s eastern wing will improve the usability of the hall, while preserving its iconic façade and rich historic interior features.”

Redevelopment works began in November 2023, following widespread stakeholder engagement in 2020 that sought feedback from users about the upgrades required. Substantial demolition began onsite in late February 2024 with removal of brick walls and clearing of the ground floor and café area, and will continue throughout this month.

Plywood hoarding has been erected in front of the hall’s heritage wall to protect the brickwork from demolition and construction activities, as well as protecting it from unauthorised access.

“Having visited Albert Hall last year, I know it holds a special place in the community, which is why we’re investing $11 million to safeguard it, and to bring new life into what is one of
Launceston’s most significant heritage-listed buildings,” said Federal Minister for Regional Development and Local Government, Kristy McBain.

“These works will modernise the existing hall, integrate it into City Park and enhance its capabilities as a contemporary meeting, exhibition and performance space.”

Other works underway include concrete footings and structure work, electrical mains upgrades, installation of a new accessible corridor between the lifts and basement dressing rooms and fine detailing of the façade cladding system.

Service upgrades and infrastructure works are also being completed under the existing car park, with sewer and stormwater mains, the water supply and the fire hydrant main ring already installed.

The investigation and survey process of the existing service areas and the building in general have been completed.

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