Community & Environment

Curtain confirmed to close for Founders

Founders Theatre

The final act for Founders Theatre has been decided, with Hamilton City Council sticking with its long-held plan to transform the site into a multi-purpose park and community space.

Today’s meeting of Council confirmed by majority the resolution of the Community Committee on 26 April to decline Theatre of the Impossible’s (TOTI) proposal to re-purpose the building.

Those voting to reaffirm the previous decision were Mayor Southgate, Deputy Mayor Taylor, Councillors Bunting, Hamilton, Naidoo-Rauf, Pascoe, van Oosten, Thomson, and Donovan.

Councillors Gallagher, O’Leary, Macpherson and Wilson were opposed.

Prior to the decision, an amendment was put forward to accept TOTI’s proposal that had also been out-voted at the 26 April Community Committee. The amendment sought to explore an agreement to establish a gift of the building to TOTI.

While Council admired the visions of TOTI to rejuvenate the Theatre, their business case lacked evidence of external funding.

Those for the amendment today were Councillors Gallagher, O’Leary, Macpherson and Wilson, with Mayor Southgate, Deputy Mayor Taylor, Councillors Bunting, Hamilton, Naidoo-Rauf, Pascoe, van Oosten, Thomson, and Donovan opposed.

As approved in May 2021, the multi-purpose park is part of the 2021-31 Long-Term Plan funded activity – the Founders Theatre site upgrade project ($4.008 million in Year 2).

Today’s decision comes with much history since the Theatre closed in 2016 due to significant safety concerns. This is outlined in a recent story: Founders decision confirmed.

No date has been given for Founders Theatre’s transformation works to begin.

Celebrating Age Centre

Prior to the Founders Theatre decision, all Councillors gave the greenlight for Council staff to prepare a business case for the future of the Celebrating Age Centre at the south end of Victoria Street.

Councillors agreed the business case will be an exciting way to explore a fit for purpose space for our older people in the heart of our city.

Councillors requested staff work with Age Concern, The Age-Friendly City group and users of the Celebrating Age Centre, to ascertain the needs of Hamilton’s aging citizens prior to a business case being developed to inform any future use of the site. The business case will be considered as part of the 2023-24 Annual Plan.


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