A feasibility study into upgrade works at Launceston's iconic Albert Hall, conducted by the City of Launceston and the Coordinator-General, is being undertaken to ensure the multi-use and -user venue remains "fit-for-purpose" into the future.
The study is expected to inform discussions by council about the costs associated with any proposed works, with state and federal governments to then be approached for funding.
City of Launceston general manager Michael Stretton said the reality was the Albert Hall was an ageing building that requires "constant and considerable" maintenance of about $80,000 per year.
"This study will enable council to make an informed decision about how best to maintain the Albert Hall as a contemporary venue into the future for existing and future users," Mr Stretton said.
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Its various rooms are hired for a events ranging from university graduations to conferences, citizenship ceremonies to musical performances.
Both the adjoining coffee shop and event operations are leased to third parties for coordination. In 2018, the hall was booked for a total of 156 days.
According to Mr Stretton, a number of those event coordinators are seeking more modern audio and visual capabilities, better accessibility and high levels of amenity.
"The Albert Hall is starting to fall behind in this regard, and we want to ensure it remains an attractive option for event coordinators into the future," Mr Stretton said.
"Renewal of Albert Hall has long been a priority for the City of Launceston and the current scoping project is aimed at understanding how council can maximise the use of the venue."
Council's draft 2019-20 budget, released last week, flagged $160,000 worth of external and internal fabric renewal for the building.
Albert Hall was constructed in 1891 by J.T Farmils and is one of the largest convention centres in the region. The hall features Australia's largest surviving pre-1860 organ, build by Charles Brindley.
Both the Queen and Lady Diana have attended events within the space. It has also hosted prime ministers including John Howard and Tony Abbott.
Speaking in 2016, council's then-senior project officer Tom Jones described the hall as a "significant building".
"It's important to the people of Launceston, almost every person from Launceston's got some great event that's happened here," Mr Jones said,
"It's such an integral part of the community over so many years, over three generations at least, it's an inherent part of the city."
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