THE Development Application for the Bellingen Memorial Hall Transformation Project Plan is being compiled with a new design.
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The Plan has been taken to the recent Bellingen Chamber of Commerce Meeting for the last round of feedback on the revisions.
Michelle McFadyen, Deputy General Manager of the Bellingen Shire Council, recently explained to the Bellingen Chamber of Commerce the choice faced and why the council has revised the original design.
“What we settled on was two designs – one that met the current budget and grant funding, and one that considered more the current and future aspirations of the community and the vision for the hall, and was less constrained by the budget.
“It was this second option that was recommended to council, even though it required a further investment of funds.”
The second option takes in a longer term vision that sticks to the original aim of the refurbishment for a cultural hub with ease of accessibility.
“The preferred option takes a longer term vision about the redevelopment – providing spaces that will not only support the community for a number of decades into the future, but provides for more financial sustainability of the Memorial Hall – with more flexible spaces for hire concurrently,” Ms McFadyen said.
“Importantly, this design addresses the accessibility issues and allows equitable access for all patrons regardless of their access needs and we know that is a key value of our community. It also includes new and raised seating, more user and flexible spaces and more toilets and facilities as can be seen in the works to the main foyer area.
This design provides more opportunities for arts and culture groups to use the centre, and more ease of access for our community.”
Over the last ninety years the hall has been subject to a number of renovations and upgrades, however for the past 10 years, and until recently, most grant applications have been unsuccessful and only minor maintenance has been possible.
As a result, there is a reasonable backlog of works to be completed.
The plans are available on the Bellingen Council website.
By Sandra MOON