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Not easy . . . The Timaru District Council says redevelopment of the Theatre Royal and heritage centre is a complex project. PHOTO: COURIER FILES

by Chris Tobin

The Timaru District Council is to appoint an “external project team” to help with the Theatre Royal heritage centre development.

“We are appointing an external project management services provider to assist us with this complex project,” the council was advised at its meeting this week, in a report from the council’s commercial and strategy manager Donna Cross and property manager Matt Ambler.

Earlier this year the council decided the $12million upgrade of the Theatre Royal and the $11million Heritage Hub project, which includes a relocation of the South Canterbury Museum next to the theatre, would be combined as one development with one project manager.

Deferring the demolition until such time as we have the concept design for the development is expected to significantly reduce the projected costs.

The project manager would be appointed after a tender process.

“The appointed project manager will assist us to take the Theatre Royal/ heritage centre development from planning and concept design through to completion of construction and handover,” the report said.

“Initially they will assist us to finalise our project and procurement plans, provide advice and guidance on the appropriate contracting and construction model and assist us with going to market for the design team.”

The project team would also be responsible for core design services. A construction contractor would be appointed later.

Meanwhile, the council has recently learned the cost of demolishing the old army hall in Barnard St as part of the Theatre Royal redevelopment was expected to cost more than was originally budgeted.

until such time as we have the concept design for the development is expected to significantly reduce the projected costs,” the report said.

The projected closure date for the Theatre Royal was also being revised.

“We are liaising with affected stakeholders to ensure we understand their requirements and that they have the best available information to factor into their own planning.”