FREMANTLE’S Victoria Hall will become an arts and community hub as early as next month, after local firm Spacemarket was awarded a two-year lease by council.
The heritage-listed hall in the city’s East End has been empty since the Fly By Night Club moved out in January.
Spacemarket specialises in revitalising empty buildings that are blighting city streetscapes.
“We propose to inject life back into this special building with workspaces for arts and cultural organisations, the re-opening of the tiny bar, and the return of the hall to the community as an affordable venue and event space,” Spacemarket’s Kate Hulett says.
Fremantle mayor Brad Pettit says the company was behind the pop-up Many, in the old Myer Building, and has a great track record of enlivening disused buildings in the metro area.
“It will be good to have them bringing life back to this much- loved building,” he says.
“Importantly it will offer affordable work and event spaces for arts and cultural organisations to incubate and support the creative side of our community.”
Ms Hulett is hoping to be up and running within the month.
“For the short-term hall booking system we aim to launch in November, so people can start booking events and we can have the broadest audience possible using the space.”
As it’s a short-term licence arrangement there is no commercial rent, but Spacemarket will be responsible for all outgoings.
The 1895 building, once St John’s Parish hall, has had a number of uses over the years including being an op-shop and Deck Chair Theatre.
After the Fly moved out the City of Fremantle wanted to sell the hall, but it only received an offer of $1 from the Anglican Church–well below the $3 million the city wanted.
by JENNY D’ANGE