Waikato Regional Theatre
We have an exciting opportunity to create a vibrant, creative precinct for the city and region with Hamilton’s new Waikato Regional Theatre.
On 24 August, Momentum Waikato Community Foundation Chair Leonard Gardner, along with Waikato Regional Theatre Governance Panel Chair Dr Julian Elder, presented Hamilton City Council with a comprehensive Feasibility Report for the new theatre.
The report proposes a 1,100-seat theatre, shared public spaces with a lifestyle art hotel and a public art gallery, to be located at the old Hamilton Hotel site on Victoria Street. The new theatre will serve two purposes: firstly, to fill the gap left in Waikato’s creative community by the closure of Founders Theatre; and secondly, to build the best theatre possible for our region.
The report recommends a world-class theatre that will attract promoters and producers of international standard across a wide array of genres, attracting the calibre of performing arts events that the city and region deserves.
Founders Theatre was closed for safety reasons in March 2016. The absence of an equivalent venue has been strongly felt within the community. Momentum Waikato approached Hamilton City Council in July 2016 and offered to manage a robust process on behalf of our donors and our community, to find the best outcome for a new regional theatre.
The process was managed by the independently appointed Governance Panel, and the Feasibility Report was compiled by international theatre consultants Charcoalblue. The Charcoalblue team have worked on a vast array of theatres worldwide, including the UK’s Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal National Theatre and Royal Opera House, among many others.
The Charcoalblue report estimates that design processes and resource consent for the new theatre would take place in 2018, with final detailed designs ready in 2019. The theatre would be expected to open in 2021.
Funding of $30 million for the theatre is planned to come from local councils, a further $30 million from generous families and organisations in the Waikato region, and $10 million from central government.
We’ve heard from many generous individuals and organisations keen to make the theatre a reality, however the project requires the entire community to be generous and work together.
We encourage all generous people willing to invest in future generations to help us get the project across the line, and we encourage people to provide their feedback below or subscribe to be informed of opportunities to talk to us directly.