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Work starts on Hobart’s new multi-million dollar cultural precinct

EARLY construction has begun on the University of Tasmania’s new $75 million creative industries and performing arts development, which is located on the corner of Campbell and Collins Streets in Hobart.

The development will create a new education and research hub, along with a custom-built home for the Conservatorium of Music and state-of-the-art performance spaces for public use.

The project is funded by a $37 million grant from the Australian Government’s Federal Education Investment Fund, along with more than $15 million from the State Government and contributions from the university and other sources.

UTAS Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor David Sadler said the new development would capture the momentum of Tasmania’s cultural and artistic resurgence.

“This complex will provide a significant enhancement to the state’s arts, cultural and performance landscape, incorporating cutting-edge immersive technologies and consolidating the state’s position as a leader in the creative and digital arts, and design,” he said.

“The completed project will create a new landmark for the Hobart CBD, joining other transformative projects such as the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies and the Medical Science Precinct, while complementing, enhancing and preserving the district’s heritage values, particularly the historic Theatre Royal.”

Theatre Royal Hobart chief executive Tim Munro said the organisation had been working with the university throughout the project.

“The Theatre Royal is very pleased that the Australian and Tasmanian Governments and the University of Tasmania are working together to support such a significant development, which will benefit Tasmanians in many ways and make a strong contribution to the social, cultural economic and educative future of the state,” he said.

The final building will be bookended by the façade of the Hedberg Garage and the heritage of the Theatre Royal, with a glass feature to both connect and separate the modern structure from the theatre, complementing and enhancing its heritage values.

A new multi-level foyer space will adjoin the Theatre Royal featuring new ticketing, bar and toilet facilities and access for people with a disability.

Construction will be sympathetic to the running of the Theatre Royal and the early works will include an archaeological investigation of the site.

Hobart firm Liminal Architecture is finalising the building’s design in collaboration with globally recognised partners WOHA and ARUP and will incorporate any necessary changes to the project based on the archaeological results.

The project has already achieved both development and building approvals for the early works, including approval from the Tasmanian Heritage Council.

It is expected to generate around 250 jobs at the peak of construction before completion in late 2017.

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