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Maitland Town Hall Reopens Following $9.7 Million Refurbishment


Dave Layzell MP, David Evans, Mayor Philip Penfold, Meryl Swanson MP and Deputy Mayor Mitchell Griffin.

The $45.5 million Maitland Administration Centre (MAC) – which includes $9.7 million in refurbishment works to the neighbouring Maitland Town Hall – was officially opened by Maitland Mayor Philip Penfold and dignitaries at a ceremony onsite earlier today.

 

Mayor Penfold and General Manager David Evans PSM were joined by former Maitland mayors Loretta Baker, Graham Dunkley, Robert Gee, Henry Meskauskas and Ray Fairweather, as well as Federal Member for Paterson Meryl Swanson MP, Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison MP, Member for Upper Hunter Dave Layzell MP and Newcastle Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen.


Mayor Penfold, Mr Evans and Council staff member Maya Young cut the ribbon and unveiled an official plaque, inset to the building’s exterior façade.


Today’s event caps off nearly a decade of work, with planning for the MAC project starting in 2015 before construction got underway in April 2021.


In addition to the fit for purpose office space, which brings more than 300 Council staff under the same roof for the first time in years, nearly $10 million was spent on refitting and refurbishing the historic Maitland Town Hall with changerooms, kitchen facilities and a new stage loading dock.


‘With the first stone laid in January 1888, Maitland Town Hall has evolved quite a lot over the decades,’ Mayor Penfold said. ‘As one of the oldest buildings in our city, it’s seen and undergone a lot of change, and these latest updates bring the building into the 21st century.’


‘We have also preserved many of its original features as a link to the past, including the original spring floor in the auditorium, ornate ceilings and cornices, and the wooden staircase.’


The Town Hall seamlessly integrates into the broader Maitland Administration Centre, with improved accessibility to a renovated Council Chambers and office spaces for staff.


General Manager, David Evans says the wider project has ‘provided a major economic boost to our city, generating close to 200 additional jobs and injecting an estimated $100 million into the local economy.


‘Maitland is one of the fastest growing cities in NSW and as one of the biggest employers in our city, Council needs to make sure we keep up with this growth.


‘The new Administration Building and Town Hall upgrades will help us do this by bringing more of our staff under the same roof, improving our productivity and ensuring we continue to deliver for the people of Maitland.’


Mayor Penfold says the refurbishment works at Town Hall will ensure it continues to operate as a multipurpose regional entertainment venue, ‘capable of hosting everything from weddings and functions to large scale concerts and events.


‘Town Hall has hosted its fair share of parties, debutant balls and the like, and the work we’ve undertaken here will ensure that story and spirit continues long into the future,’ Mayor Penfold said.


‘We’re taking a staged approach to the reopening of the venue, with meeting rooms available for community hire right now, followed by the auditorium and supper room from July 1.’


‘Maitland Town Hall ultimately belongs to the people of Maitland – it’s a place many of our residents have memories of, and somewhere where we hope memories will continue to be made. We can’t wait to start welcoming back our community and inviting them in to see, use and enjoy the space.’


Under stage one of the reopening, members of the community and businesses can hire five meeting rooms, with capacity limits that range from 8 to 55.


Each room is set up with audiovisual equipment, such as soundbars, TVs, cameras and projector screens. For information and to submit a booking request, email recreation@maitland.nsw.gov.au.


FAST FACTS

• Town Hall’s foundation stone was laid on 26 January 1888 and the venue opened in February 1890.

• Australia’s first prime minister Edmund Barton opened his government’s campaign ahead of the first Federal election at Maitland Town Hall in January 1901.

• Maitland Town Hall has also hosted Prime Ministers such as Robert Menzies, Paul Keating and John Howard.

• Maitland Town Hall hosted the future King, Prince Charles, when he visited Maitland with Princess Diana in 1983.

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