A RECENTLY completed business case and asset review into expanding and modernising the 50 year Ipswich Civic Centre has confirmed the obvious.
The current centre is too small and needs to be expanded to create more seating for 150-250 extra theatre goers.
The sold out Ipswich Musical Theatre Company’s recent production of Phantom of The Opera once again brought to light the shortfalls of the old Civic Centre with hundreds unable to get a seat for the limited six performances.
They also had to put up with sub-standard facilities and obstructed views.
Plans for a new performing arts centre were put on hold in 2018 by council’s Interim Administration, which was closely followed by the impacts of the COVID.
The proposed centre would have cost more than $200m in today’s dollars, with council deciding in late 2022 to instead progress with investigations into a renovation and expansion of the existing Civic Centre.
Council spent $200,000 on the recently completed business case and asset review.
The review confirmed that expansion could be co-located on the existing Civic Centre car park.
Council’s next step is to undertake due diligence investigations and design work which will include a full cost plan for a performing arts facility.
The exact costs for the rebuild are still unknown, but what is known is council will need a substantial grant from the State Government for the project to go ahead.