Tamworth Musical Society has their say.....

Design Image

Proposed Tamworth Performing Arts Centre and Cultural Precinct - Peel Street View

Background

Tamworth Regional Council is committed to providing arts and cultural facilities and programs which meet the needs of the community and enhance the liveability of Tamworth.

In 2008, we entered a 15 year sub-lease agreement for the Capitol Theatre and invested approximately 1.6 million to theatrically fit out the venue for use.

With the lease due to expire in 2023, the Capitol has proved that a live theatre is crucial to the cultural fabric of the city and region. It has delivered positive social and economic outcomes but has some constraints with what it can deliver.

We now look towards planning a community-owned asset that can support the growth of our region's cultural and social offering as well as help attract new residents and professionals and be a drawcard for visitors.

There is an identified need for an arts centre and cultural precinct that will meet the aspirations of our growing city. Time is right to explore the future of the performing arts and the important role it can play in the social and economic growth of the city.

A new dedicated performing arts centre located alongside the existing Tamworth Library and Tamworth Regional Gallery will deliver an arts precinct that meets the needs of the Tamworth community and greater region for the next 50 years and beyond - a community asset for the future.


Capitol Theatre

Snap Shot

A New Performing Arts Centre and Cultural Precinct would include;

  • 600-seat main theatre (roughly 430 seats in the stalls and 170 seats in the dress circle)
  • Professional recording studio
  • 200-seat studio theatre
  • Commercial tenants including ABC Radio New England North West
  • 2 large rehearsal/breakout/function rooms
  • Large light-filled entrance foyer.
  • 150-seat cafe/restaurant - with indoor and outdoor seating
  • Foyer connection to the library
  • Creation of a forecourt area running across the front of the library and gallery to the cafe/restaurant creating a piazza feel to the front of the precinct
  • Community meeting room
  • An inner city conference and seminar venue able to accommodate up to 600 participants
  • Dress Circle with upper foyer with bar and function facilities connecting across to the gallery
  • Incorporation of Tamworth Regional Conservatorium of Music into the building as a tenant on an upper level
  • Outdoor event space

What will the New Performing Arts Centre include?

A 600-seat theatre would increase capacity and attract more commercial hirers, offering a conference facility to the CBD. The stage area would be larger to accommodate touring productions, making it competitive on the touring landscape and would position the venue as a regional venue of excellence.

The auditorium footprint would be similar to the current Capitol Theatre. However, the seating would be arranged to slope up from the stage on less of an angle. The stalls area would accommodate roughly 430 seats. An additional 170 seats would be located in the dress circle as required.

Increasing the wing space, the amount and capacity of theatrical rigging (fly lines) and the height of the theatre vertical space (proscenium opening) will increase our ability to take larger scale productions and offer more scope for the local performing arts companies.

The inclusion of a 200-seat studio theatre would meet a community need and be more cost effective for smaller local productions.

It would have retractable seating to be able to accommodate dinners and other functions and would be used by conference events.

The inclusion of two large rehearsal/breakout rooms would not only create potential revenue streams but would complement the overall activities and functionality of the centre.

There would be a series of office/storerooms that would access these rooms and a central corridor. We would look to centralise our city's community performing arts groups within the centre, giving them a home with access to an office and rehearsal space. This would free up other sporadic locations currently held by these groups. A minimal fee would be charged.

These rooms would become a crucial asset as conference break-out rooms.

They would be used by Tamworth Musical Society, Tamworth Dramatic Society and other stakeholders for their rehearsals. The rooms would open up options to increase community engagement through theatre-run workshops and drama classes. These classes would be self-funding and potentially making a profit for those groups.

The centre's with the existing library and gallery would include a forecourt area that would have a piazza or terrace feel to it with provision for outdoor entertainment.

The inclusion of a cafe/restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating would create a cornerstone for social gatherings and would complement not only the performing arts centre but the activities of the library and gallery and that part of Peel Street.

Increased activity in this part of the CBD during the day and night is also seen as a way of assisting with crime prevention.

With a 600-seat theatre, the variety of other spaces and breakout rooms, plus the catering facilities, the centre will be an attractive mid-size conference facility, able to accommodate up to 600 delegates in one room and then in a variety of smaller configurations.

An inner city conference centre will create major exposure for the retail businesses in the CBD and existing and future accommodation providers. Other CBD assets such as the Tamworth Regional Playground and Bicentennial Park, in close proximity, will also enhance the conference experience.

ABC New England Northwest would be invited as a tenant of the new building which would add to the depth of the artistic mix of the precinct.

The Tamworth Regional Conservatorium of Music would also be another tenant.

The inclusion of a gift/music/book area near the box office would feed into the activities of all the arts businesses in the precinct and could further drive activation of the area.

The Tamworth Regional Conservatorium of Music has outgrown its current premises. By including this organisaion in the footprint, as a tenant on the upper level of the building, it would contribute greatly to the day-to- day activity of the area and offer a complete arts precinct experience.

The Conservatorium works closely now with the Capitol Theatre on the presentation of events. Having the theatre and the Conservatorium housed next to each other, would make both operations more efficient and open up potenial further collaboration and programming.

We are very understanding of all peoples needs within the community. The centre will include bariatric seating, of varying sizes available.

There will be 12 wheelchair positions in the main theatre (8 more than the Capitol). These will be not only at the entry level but at the rear of the stalls as well. This is an issues in the Capitol. There is no easy access for walkers or wheelchair positions up the back of the theatre. There will be a lift and stairs to the rear of the stalls and room for walking frames.

Design and Location

A new performing arts centre is proposed next to the Tamworth Regional Gallery and Tamworth Library at 468 - 474 Peel Street, Tamworth and will create a cultural precinct.

Street location map

Site Plan on Peel Street, Tamworth