20 August 2019
The Masterton community will help decide the future of the Town Hall in a formal consultation planned for later this year. The decision to consult comes following the Council commissioned an assessment on the level of demand for events space in Masterton, and the impact such a space may have on the local economy.
The details of this market demand and economic impact assessment are available in the full report below. At a high level, it found a low level of demand for an events space; community theatre groups were among the main identified potential users. However, the assessment also found a permanent theatre-style events space was unlikely to be utilised well.
Council has also done some work on initial costings to inform decisions around what to do with the existing buildings and potential for a new civic centre or events space. There is still a small amount of work to do on gathering this information together before it can be shared publicly.
The town hall building was closed in June 2016 because its earthquake rating was below the required standard. Council gained some understanding of what the Masterton community would like to see happen thanks to two initial rounds of consultation.
In 2017, we asked for initial thoughts on options for the town hall; 65 per cent of submitters said they would like to see a new centre built instead of strengthening the existing building. This feedback prompted Council to propose building a new civic centre in the Long-Term Plan. Almost 60 per cent of submitters supported this option and, as a result, $15.5 million was set aside for construction.