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Council to buy Victoria Theatre

Council to buy Victoria Theatre
March 23, 2006

North Shore City Council decided today to buy Victoria Theatre in Devonport to preserve the building's heritage value.

It is intended that a trust or similar entity would then take over the ownership, maintenance and operation of the building for commercial or community use.

Because the building's purchase was not provided for in the council's 2004-2014 City Plan, the community was consulted to find out what its preference was.

More than 4500 submissions were received, and 70 people addressed councillors at hearings last month through impassioned speeches, poems, songs and even a mime.

More than 70 per cent of respondents supported buying the theatre. This is estimated to cost up to $1.55m.

North Shore City Council will now move to buy Victoria Theatre, then undertake urgent health and safety work so that it can remain open for hire as much as possible.

The impact of the purchase on the projected rates increase in the 2006-2016 Draft City Plan is about 0.2 per cent - from 8.9 per cent to just over nine per cent.

The draft plan, which sets out how the council plans to run the city over the next 10 years, is open for comment until April 26. A summary newsletter, which includes a reply-paid submission form, will arrive in letterboxes across the city next week.

Feedback can also be given online at www.northshorecity.govt.nz.

Victoria Theatre was purpose-built as a cinema in 1912, but it was a major alteration in 1929 that gave it its current distinctive appearance.

For a list of elected members, people are invited to visit the council's website, www.northshorecity.govt.nz.

(ends)


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