The contents of this page have been archived. This represents Council’s advocacy position prior to the 2022 State and Federal elections.
For updated information on any of these projects, please contact Council.
The Town Hall has served, inspired and brought together the community for 140 years and helped shape the identity of the area and beyond.
What is the ask?
Council requests the Victorian Government and Australian Government partner to co-fund the South Melbourne Town Hall (SMTH) redevelopment project.
What is the issue this initiative will address?
The South Melbourne Town Hall has reached the end of its lifespan. There has been significant damage and a revamp is required.
The current disrepair of the building has a significant impact on the local economy, including the major nearby retail strip. The significance of the closure is heightened by the building’s position and role within the creative industries hub of this part of Melbourne.
What is Council proposing?
The South Melbourne Town Hall (208-220 Bank Street, South Melbourne) is an extraordinary and spectacular heritage place. It is indisputably one of Victoria’s grandest town halls, and arguably the most attractive.
NEXT 140 is a hugely significant redevelopment project to breathe new life into the building.
The project will:
- majorly refurbish and upgrade the building
- make its spectacular spaces more accessible, adaptable and accommodating
- boost visitation
- strengthen its role as a first-class space for community gatherings and events
- strengthen and sustain the relationships between the community and its heritage.
How does this initiative align with the Council Plan and Victorian/Australian Government priorities?
Council Plan 2021-31: Vibrant Port Phillip –a City that has a flourishing economy, where our community and local businesses thrive, and we maintain and enhance our reputation as one of Melbourne’s cultural and creative hubs.
- We will provide an upgraded and reopened South Melbourne Town Hall by 2023/24.
Council Plan 2021-31: Liveable Port Phillip - a City that is a great place to live, where our community has access to high quality public spaces, development and growth are well-managed, and it is safer and easy to connect and travel within.
- We will advocate for the best possible public space outcomes that support community health and wellbeing, through infrastructure projects undertaken in our City by other levels of government and stakeholders.
The architectural, historical and social significance of the Town Hall to the state of Victoria is well acknowledged, including by its registration on the Victorian Heritage Register (H0217). It has served, inspired and brought together the community for 140 years and helped shape the identity of the area and beyond.
NEXT 140 will cement and celebrate the Town Hall as an outstanding asset of urban cultural infrastructure and the arts.
How does this initiative assist the community to recover from COVID-19?
The South Melbourne Town Hall typically receives approximately 25,000 visitors each year and more than 180 events. It is currently closed, due to structural condition risks.
This has a significant impact on the local economy, including the major nearby retail strip. The significance of the closure is heightened by the building’s position and role within the creative industries hub of this part of Melbourne.
The project will ready the building for a much-awaited re-opening and enable events to once again be held at the venue, re-triggering economic and cultural activity. Most powerfully, as a social hub, it will help the community to re-connect and re-build post-COVID.
Once fully implemented, the project will allow the facility to be used more productively, increasing economic opportunities.
The work will immediately stimulate the local construction and associated industry, and as a high-profile project provide much needed confidence to the local economy.
Cost and current status?
Detailed designs are being prepared.