The City of Melbourne will spend more than $1.5 million revamping the ground floor of the Melbourne Town Hall this coming year, the annual draft budget has revealed.
Almost $30 million has been allocated to building improvements across Melbourne in the council’s 2019–2020 draft budget, including for the Queen Victoria Market and the Regent Theatre.
A spokesperson for the council confirmed that Hassell has has been appointed as architect for the rejuvenation of the town hall, which will include a new public forum.
Melbourne mayor Sally Capp said the plans were part of an initial $4.5 million investment in a masterplan to restore and refurbish the 148-year-old building.
“Melbourne Town Hall is our city’s architectural jewel,” she said. “Significant investment is required to make it more accessible and functional for the people who attend council meetings and access our services every day.”
“A pilot project to revamp the ground floor and create a new public forum will commence later this year. What we would like to see is a new public forum for our key decision-making meetings to allow more people to attend and participate in the democratic process. There would also be a revamped customer service area to provide an improved experience for residents, ratepayers and visitors.”
“Following the pilot project, we will consider the need for works to restore Melbourne Town Hall buildings over the next six years. We’ve also earmarked a further $1.4 million towards progressing redevelopment of the adjoining Bourke Street precinct.”
Public submissions on the draft Annual Plan and Budget 2019–20 are open from Friday 10 May, until Friday 7 June. Submissions will be considered at a special meeting of the Future Melbourne Committee on Thursday 13 June.
The document can be viewed here.