State-of-the-art tiered auditorium for Maclean

Published on 01 July 2022

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A new Clarence Valley Cultural and Community Precinct with a tiered 270-seat auditorium will replace the Maclean Civic Hall in a proposed project to enhance the Maclean CBD and connection to the Clarence River.

Councillors were presented with three concept plans and unanimously supported the option recommended, which includes larger performance and backstage space, cafe/bar to cater for events including outdoor space with river views, box office space, and parking for 40 cars beneath the auditorium serviced by a lift.

Works are required as the existing Maclean Civic Hall needs extensive refurbishment to prolong its serviceable life, and this new design will turn the venue into a cultural space of regional significance.

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Under the current concept, patrons will enter the stage 270-seat auditorium from the rear of the building with the stage backing onto River Street.

"I think this is a very exciting project for Maclean and the Clarence Valley," Cr Bill Day, who moved the recommended motion, said.

"It is important that we have today highlighted the need for stakeholder engagement. It's a wonderful project, I hope it goes through without too many objections."

Council will now begin the process of consultation and engagement with stakeholders and the community.

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An artist’s impression of the proposed Clarence Valley Cultural and Community Precinct viewed from River Street.

Council first considered investigating options for development of a Maclean Community Precinct in 2017. The concept was focused on delivering improved community services within the area through a unified space. The conceptual design was influenced through extensive community consultation conducted in 2018/2019 to ensure it reflected the needs of the community.

"Clarence Valley Cultural and Community Precinct will provide a modern asset of significant value to the Maclean and broader Clarence Valley community," Mayor Ian Tiley said.

"This vibrant space with a fabulous aspect over the river will help revitalise Maclean and enhance social connections.

"The facility will serve community needs day-to-day and also provide a community meeting place during natural disasters."

The project will be funded by the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund ($4.997m), Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program ($3m), Clarence Care and Support surplus funds ($2.7m), proceeds of the sale of Short Street properties ($1.36m), Maclean & District Improvement Reserve ($600k) and Developer Contribution funds ($1.529m).

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