Restoration work is expected to begin on the Town Hall this month after Christchurch City Council today agreed to fully restore the facility.

Now that the decision has been made about the future of the facility, we'll appoint a contractor to carry out the work. We expect the restoration to be completed in June 2018.

The restoration work includes repairing and strengthening the Town Hall to 100 per cent of New Building Standard as well as a significant upgrade and refurbishment of the facility. This includes a possible reconfiguration of the James Hay Theatre which addresses the needs of the performing arts community. The repair method that has been chosen will see the building's foundations significantly strengthened, ensuring the Town Hall can be used and enjoyed for the next 50 years.

A number of options for the future of the Town Hall were considered, including partial restoration or building a new facility. The recommendation to fully restore the Town Hall was based on a business case carried out by Deloittes that identified it was the most financially viable option that would also provide the fit-for-purpose Civic, cultural and performing arts facilities a city the size of Christchurch needs.

Research carried out by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage in 2014 shows a city the size of Christchurch should have a range of venues, including a 2500 seat auditorium. The existing Lilburn Auditorium meets this need and is recognised as one of the finest concert halls in the world. Christchurch also needs a mid-size auditorium for classical music and a mid-size flat-floor contemporary music venue for 500-600 seated and 1000 people standing. These options could be accommodated within a reconfigured James Hay Theatre.

A total of $127.5 million has been set aside for the restoration. This will be partially funded by a $68.9 million insurance contribution, with ratepayers contributing the balance of $58.6 million. We have done a significant amount of pre-restoration work and are confident that we will be able to restore the Town Hall within this budgeted amount.

The report considered by the Council today is available on page 101 here.

We're looking forward to beginning work and we'll keep you informed as construction progresses. Keep informed until our next newsletter


Visit the Future Christchurch website for information about the ChristchurchTown Hall



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Liam Nolan
Unit Manager Anchor Projects
Christchurch City Council



An artist's impression of the refurbished Town Hall