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Hamilton City Council to undertake further consultation on future of Founders Theatre

Hamilton City Council to undertake further consultation on future of Founders Theatre
September 14, 2020

Hamilton City Council will this week consider a report recommending further consultation with the community on options for the future of the Founders Theatre site.

Closed since March 2016 due to safety concerns, a report to the 17th September Council meeting recommends presenting three options for the Founders Theatre to the community for feedback.

The first option is to remove the theatre and turn the land into a basic park. Funding was provided for this option through the 2018-28 Long-Term Plan.

The second option is to remove the building and develop the site into a multi-purpose urban park with the potential for different zones, such as a performance area. This is the Council’s preferred option and would require funding through the 2021-31 Long-Term Plan.

The third option is an invitation for groups to submit an alternative proposal that retains the Founders Theatre building. The Council will only consider proposals that can guarantee capital and ongoing costs from non-Council sources.

The Dame Hilda Ross Memorial Fountain in front of the theatre will be retained, whichever option is chosen.

If approved by the Council, community engagement will take place over four weeks later this year.

Founders Theatre sits in the heart of the West Town Belt, an area of green space in central Hamilton that stretches from Lake Rotoroa to Edgecumbe Park. The area incorporates Hamilton Girls’ High School, Seddon Park, the historic Hamilton West Cemetery and FMG Stadium Waikato.

The Council has adopted a West Town Belt masterplan to guide development of the area. The second option proposed to the community - the multi-purpose park - will support the vision of the masterplan, which is to create a dynamic, connected and treasured inner-city destination for everyone.

Click here to read the 17th September Council agenda. 

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29th July 2020 - Performing Arts Network of New Zealand explores need for a central arts sector hub

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16th June 2020 - Live performances set to welcome New Zealand arts and event patrons

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4th November 2019 - New Zealand Government provides $12 million for new theatre in Waikato

28th August 2019 - Hamilton City Council confident of safety of stand at Waikato Stadium

4th October 2018 - Hamilton City Council purchases riverside properties for park expansion plan

27th May 2018 - Creative New Zealand survey shows that ‘art makes New Zealand a better place to live’

24th April 2018 - New concept designs for Waikato Regional Theatre include 200 more seats

25th January 2018 - Momentum Waikato Community Foundation announces new Chief Executive

12th December 2017 - Hamilton City Council looks for new uses for the Founders Theatre

16th October 2017 - Hamilton community groups invited to signal Founders Theatre interest

25th August 2017 - Feasibility report released into new Waikato Regional Theatre

8th December 2016 - Hamilton’s H3 group secures two top national venue industry awards

7th July 2016 - Report confirms seismic issues with Hamilton’s Founders Theatre

6th May 2016 - Hamilton City seeks public comment on future of Founders Theatre

1st April 2016 - Hamilton City Council to let the community decide the future of the Founders Theatre


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