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UK-based experts Charcoalblue appointed for theatre project

Waikato Regional Theatre Governance Panel

Media release

14 December 2016

Waikato Regional Theatre Governance Panel appoints UK-based experts Charcoalblue for theatre project

Award-winning theatre and acoustic design consultancy Charcoalblue has been appointed to advise on the first phase of establishment of a new Waikato Regional Theatre.

The Waikato Regional Theatre Governance Panel appointed Charcoalblue following a detailed Request For Proposal process involving companies from around New Zealand and the world. Charcoalblue will advise on the optimum theatre configuration, design, location and the range of expected community benefits of a new theatre.

Panel Chair Dr Julian Elder, the former CEO of WEL Networks, says the RFP process for the consultants was robust and attracted many talented consultancies.

“Charcoalblue was appointed because it is highly regarded for its collaborative work and has delivered major theatre projects including: refurbishing the National Theatre in London, advising on the new Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center in New York and the theatres of the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon in the UK,” he says.

Dr Elder says Charcoalblue consultants will visit Hamilton pre-Christmas to meet with some stakeholders and will then begin reviewing the extensive community consultation work that’s already been undertaken.

“The governance panel will immediately begin working closely with the Charcoalblue team to determine our project timelines and what our milestones will be in the next six months. We’ll be able to share this with the community in January 2017.”

Dr Elder says the first major milestone for Charcoalblue is selecting a proposed location for the proposed theatre by end of February 2017.

A final recommendation is due to be developed by 30 June. The recommendation will be presented to Hamilton City Council in its July 2017 council meeting and council will then lead community consultation to determine the final outcome.

-ENDS-

About Charcoalblue

Charcoalblue is the world’s leading theatre design consultancy. Founded in 2004, they have grown to a team of more than fifty working across four international studios including London, Bristol, Melbourne and New York. Charcoalblue’s portfolio of theatre, acoustic and digital design ranges from world-famous companies like the UK’s Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre to Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and the Sydney Theatre Company. www.charcoalblue.com

About the Waikato Regional Theatre Governance Panel:

The Waikato Regional Theatre Governance Panel is responsible for appointing and managing a team of experts who will create a concept design, masterplan and business case for the new Waikato Regional Theatre.

The Panel was appointed following an agreement by Momentum Waikato and Hamilton City Council in August 2016 to work together to scope the solution for a new theatre to replace Founders Theatre, closed in March 2016 over safety concerns.

Waikato Regional Theatre Governance Panel members include:

· Dr Julian Elder, Chair – Former CEO of WEL Networks

· Sean Murray - Venues, Major Events and Tourism Hamilton City Council

· Margi Moore - Head of Media Arts, Wintec and Chairperson Creative Waikato

· Glenn Holmes – Legacy Project Leader Hamilton Gardens Development Trust

· Graeme Ward – Director, Infrastructure and Assets, Wintec

In July 2016, Momentum Waikato announced it would convene $25 million of donor funds toward the creation of a new regional theatre, contingent on Hamilton City Council also contributing $30 million towards a new build.

Momentum Waikato and Hamilton City Council have each secured $100,000 to fund the process being undertaken by the Governance Panel.

Momentum Waikato’s role is to convene, connect and align generous people in the Waikato to create a better Waikato for everyone, forever.


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