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Mon. May 27th, 2024

Armidale locals who would like a say in the future of the Old Armidale Courthouse are invited to attend an open day at the iconic building on September 24.

To be held in conjunction with the monthly Armidale Mall Markets, the open day at the Courthouse will run from 9:30am to 12:30pm and along with a suite of historical photos there will be ‘Have Your Say’ pamphlets available to those interested.

A 28-day consultation process will then take place and residents will be able to submit their ideas on what they would like to see this historic community space used for in the future.

Armidale Regional Council (ARC) acquired the Old Armidale Courthouse in August 2022 for just $1 from the NSW Government.

Operational funds from an Armidale land sale have been placed aside to manage the maintenance of the building until a longer-term funding arrangement can be identified to renovate the buildings and identify likely future use provisions.

“This is an amazing opportunity for local residents to come along and have a good look at the Old Courthouse and submit some fresh, new ideas about how Council can best use this space to benefit the community in the future,” said Armidale Mayor Sam Coupland.

“The future use of the Old Courthouse has been hotly debated among the community since it was purchased with a lot of great ideas being floated around from using the space as a theatre to doing something similar to what is in Customs House in Sydney or Sir Henry Parks Memorial School of Arts Tenterfield.

“Council is really looking forward to seeing the community engagement and ideas in relation to the future of the Old Courthouse development and making it an amazing community space we can all enjoy and be proud of, and a place that will bring more people to our beautiful region.

“Revitalising historic buildings like the Old Courthouse into a place the entire community can enjoy helps towards making Armidale a vibrant place where people want to visit and live.”

Mr Coupland said a motion was passed in 2022 by the Armidale Council which stated any future funding would have to be sourced externally for development of the Old Courthouse precinct, so it didn’t become a future financial burden for ratepayers.

The buildings being listed on the NSW State Heritage Register allows Council to apply for grant funding that targets State Heritage Register listings, particularly projects focussed on public activation and use of heritage assets.

Council applied for a smaller heritage grant of $150,000 in late 2022, however the funding body advised in August 2023 that the application was unsuccessful, and Council should submit for future funding rounds.

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