Maribyrnong council borrows $10m for Footscray Town Hall

Footscray Town Hall (Supplied) 229049_01

Goya Dmytryshchak

Maribyrnong council will borrow $10 million to redevelop Footscray Town Hall.

As reported by Star Weekly in February, the hall will undergo a redevelopment costing up to $30 million.

The Department of Jobs, Precinct and Regions will provide the council with a low-interest loan.

The town hall was originally built in 1936 as the municipal offices, courthouse and post office, with the main council building extended over several stages with the last construction works completed in 1984.

The council said changes to legislation and building code standards, coupled with growth within its organisation, had rendered the heritage structure no longer fit for purpose.

It will be redeveloped in two construction phases, starting with a new office building with up to 110 work points allowing for flexible use of spaces in response to COVID-19.

The current office will be demolished once the new one is built and then works would start on the link to the town hall and renovations to the town hall building.

The redevelopment will include the addition of several community spaces, including a 200-seat multi-use space and a public park/plaza area.

Total project costs based on a construction start of May 2022 are $26 million-$30 million.

Mayor Michael Clarke said under the terms of the loan, upgrade works were to be completed within three years.

“With the support of the state government, council is able to kick start this project and reduce the impost on our ratepayers by achieving savings through the low-interest loan,” he said.

“The aim is to liberate the town hall from its civic administration function to return it to the public for use as meeting rooms and gathering spaces inside, and a new public space outside – creating a new and exciting civic space for the community and council to meet and come together.”