The stage has been set for a dramatic overhaul of one of the region’s preeminent performing arts venues with an official sod turn ceremony marking the start of construction on the long planned refurbishment of the Sutherland Entertainment Centre.
Sutherland Shire Councillors joined representatives from builder ADCO Constructions, and project management firm Root Partnerships to break ground on the project, which will deliver significant improvements for both performers and audience members alike once completed.
Among the major improvements to be delivered as part of the refurbishment project are;
- A refurbished theatre with tiered seating for over 680 patrons,
- Full fly-tower over the stage to cater for diverse performances,
- New flexible teaching and rehearsal spaces,
- A new entry forecourt incorporating a flexible outdoor event space,
- A larger foyer with enhanced accessibility, including lift access and improved amenities,
- Improved performer/hirer functionality with enhanced back-of-house, and;
- Upgrades to Peace Park to enhance the surrounding street scape and improve connectivity and accessibility to the Entertainment Centre.
Sutherland Shire Mayor, Councillor Steve Simpson said he was proud of the collective efforts of staff and his fellow Councillors who had worked passionately yet collaboratively to deliver a shared vision for the revitalised facility.
“The Sutherland Entertainment Centre has played host to countless performances by talented local performers and big name acts from further afield over the years and has been a cultural epicentre for Sutherland Shire throughout its life so far,” Mayor Simpson said.
“Late last year (2020) our Entertainment Centre played host to its last live performance before it undergoes this dramatic transformation – renowned local tenor Mark Vincent and a host of talented musicians performing for the ‘Our People, Our Places – Our Shire’ concert recording.
“Like the many local arts and culture lovers and all those in our talented local performing arts community, I can’t wait to see these works completed and the curtains raised on a new and vastly improved Entertainment Centre next year.”
Mayor Simpson said the project would deliver a boon to the local economy, supporting the creation of jobs through the construction phase and supporting a more vibrant performing arts sector once completed.
“The works will not only directly assist the arts community, which has been heavily impacted by the current COVID-19 restrictions, but they will also provide welcome employment and economic stimulus to the local community,” Mayor Simpson said.
Those passing the Entertainment Centre in recent weeks will likely have already witnessed increased activity on site, with contractors working to safely secure the site before construction commences. Construction is expected to continue onsite for some months, with works expected to be completed in late 2021.
Source: Sutherland Shire Council