Thursday, July 25, 2024

Daylesford Town Hall to close until 2026

The iconic Daylesford Town Hall is set to close for at least 18 months for electrical and roofing works from September, Hepburn Shire Council has announced.

Mayor, Brian Hood said Council will concurrently undertake a project to assess the feasibility of maximising the future use of the significant building.

“We are investigating options to consolidate and upgrade the Town Hall so it could act as a community hub, similar to what we have in Creswick, Clunes and Trentham,” he said.

“This would include whether Daylesford Town Hall could be refurbished to include a library along with multi-purpose community spaces to cater for meetings, functions, performances and events.”

When Council cancelled the Hepburn Hub at The Rex project in November 2021, it resolved to identify possible solutions for staffing accommodation and community facilities for Birch Ward. The possible relocation of the library and upgrade to the Town Hall space would help to achieve those objectives, the Mayor said.

He said community consultation has regularly highlighted the community’s strong connection to the Daylesford Town Hall.

“There are many steps required before this kind of project would proceed. In order to assess the feasibility of the project we need to obtain architectural advice on the suitability of the site, receive community input and consider feasibility and concept designs,” said Mayor Hood.

“Progression of the project will be dependent on securing external funding. A rejuvenated Town Hall could deliver fit-for-purpose, modern community facilities that maximise the use of this important community building and meet the needs of the community.”

Council will establish a Project Advisory Group (PAG) of eight members in coming months to guide discussions on how the proposal would best meet the community’s needs.

“We will invite expressions of interest for this PAG in April. I encourage anyone interested in community facilities in Daylesford, Hepburn and Hepburn Springs to put up their hand.”

“A PAG has been very effective in the development of The Mechanics Trentham, a Council building that is almost complete, which encompasses a new library, kitchen and community spaces,” the Mayor said.

He said the roofing and electrical works at the Town Hall were necessary to preserve the structural integrity and modernise the ageing electrical system, regardless of the building’s future use.

While these essential works are underway, the Council Chambers and Council staff who work in the Town Hall will relocate to leased premises at 24 Vincent Street.

Should the Town Hall project progress, Council says it would seek funding from state and federal governments.

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