Following comprehensive restorative works in the past year, Ballarat’s foremost performing arts venue will re-open its doors to the community for the RSSS Eisteddfod – the first event to take to the historic raked stage since late 2017.
The City of Ballarat delivered an unprecedented level of investment, with $5.3 million allocated in its 2018-2019 budget, into restorative works at Her Majesty’s Ballarat as soon as the safety issue was identified. These works have been supported by a $2 million grant under the Victorian Government’s Living Heritage Program.
The restorative works have been a collaborative project. Ballarat contractor AW Nicholson and its sub-contractors, plus heritage architect Lovell Chen and the City of Ballarat’s Major Projects and Her Majesty’s Ballarat teams have worked tirelessly to deliver the project on-time to the City of Ballarat.
City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh says AW Nicholson’s skill and expertise in delivering such a complex heritage project spanning six levels is to be applauded.
“AW Nicholson has treated Her Majesty’s Ballarat with all the love and respect this grand old dame deserves. The City of Ballarat is thankful to AW Nicholson for its fantastic work.”
Following the final checks of the facility, expected practical completion of the facility will take place tomorrow. This month, City of Ballarat staff begin the painstaking and major task of cleaning the theatre and re-establishing the technical and operational equipment. The works to reinstate all of the stage equipment alone, which include more than 1,000 elements, will take more than a month to complete.
The City of Ballarat had hoped to open Her Majesty’s Ballarat in time for the Victorian Band Championships of the RSSS competition however staff still have much work to do before performers and the community can access the building in a safe and professional manner.
The City of Ballarat has been working with RSSS to keep it up-to-date with the project’s progress for the past 18 months. RSSS also has four positions on the Her Majesty’s Ballarat board. Early on, the City of Ballarat advised RSSS of the likelihood that the venue opening may not take place until late August to mid-September. RSSS booked alternative venues as a result.
“We are working to ensure the re-opening of Her Majesty’s Ballarat as soon as possible,” Cr McIntosh says.
“We are doing everything in our power to achieve the common goal of seeing Her Majesty’s Ballarat come alive with performances, applause and the enjoyment of performers and patrons alike.
“We know the community can’t wait to see Her Majesty’s Ballarat once again shine in all of her magnificent glory.”
The City of Ballarat will announce the re-opening of Her Majesty’s Ballarat in the weeks to come.
The City of Ballarat has received a Victorian Government commitment of $10 million for the next stage of works and is still campaigning for the additional $5 million of federal funding needed to achieve more of the works identified in the vision for the theatre and complete a greater degree of safety and accessibility works.