Options considered while Town Hall temporarily closes from September

Published on 28 February 2024

Daylesford Town Hall - morning sun

The iconic Daylesford Town Hall will be closed for essential electrical and roofing works for at least 18 months from September 2024. Priority works to protect the significant heritage building include extensive repairs to the roof, parapets and chimneys, with electrical upgrades to commence once the roof is replaced.

Council will work with regular users of the building to help identify alternative venues while the building is closed.

Hepburn Shire Mayor, Cr Brian Hood, said Council will concurrently undertake a project to assess the feasibility of maximising the future use of the significant building.

“We are investigating options to consolidate and upgrade the Town Hall so it could act as a community hub, similar to what we have in Creswick, Clunes and Trentham,” said Cr Hood.

“This would include whether Daylesford Town Hall could be refurbished to include a library along with multi-purpose community spaces to cater for meetings, functions, performances and events,” he said.

When Council cancelled the Hepburn Hub at The Rex project in November 2021, it resolved to identify possible solutions for staffing accommodation and community facilities for Birch Ward. The possible relocation of the library and upgrade to the Town Hall space would help to achieve those objectives.

Community consultation has regularly highlighted the community’s strong connection to the Daylesford Town Hall. This was reiterated in the recent structure plan consultation process late last year.

“There are many steps required before this kind of project would proceed. In order to assess the feasibility of the project we need to obtain architectural advice on the suitability of the site, receive community input and consider feasibility and concept designs,” said Cr Hood.

“Progression of the project will be dependent on securing external funding. A rejuvenated Town Hall could deliver fit-for-purpose, modern community facilities that maximise the use of this important community building and meet the needs of the community,” he said.

Council will establish a Project Advisory Group (PAG) of eight members in coming months to guide discussions on how the proposal would best meet the community’s needs.

“We will invite expressions of interest for this PAG in April. I encourage anyone interested in community facilities in Daylesford, Hepburn and Hepburn Springs to put up their hand,” said Cr Hood.

“A PAG has been very effective in the development of The Mechanics Trentham, a Council building that is almost complete, which encompasses a new library, kitchen and community spaces,” he said.

The roofing and electrical works at Daylesford Town Hall are necessary to preserve the structural integrity and modernise the ageing electrical system. The works are required regardless of any changes to its future use. While these essential works are underway, the Council Chambers and Council staff who work in the Town Hall will relocate to leased premises at 24 Vincent Street.

Should the Town Hall project progress, Council would seek funding from state and federal governments. Find out more including frequently asked questions at https://participate.hepburn.vic.gov.au/daylesford-facilities