Plans to make our majestic icon a multi-purpose space

Published on 16 November 2017

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During a site visit to Customs House yesterday, Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow along with Council’s Smart Hub project team and local architects mapped out a potential plan that would see Customs House be used for multiple uses including the Smart Hub.

Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow said a portion of the ground level would be used for the Smart Hub and the commercial kitchen would be retained for a café tenancy to serve the courtyard at the back of Customs House and an indoor dining area.

The top floor of Customs House would be a mixed use area featuring a museum space to showcase Council’s extensive collections.

Mayor Strelow said the much loved underneath space of Customs House was an ideal fit for the Hub with its iconic cave-like architecture being the perfect setting.

“Using only the ground level as the Hub, it is easily accessible and we can refit the space for half a million dollars while retaining the commercial kitchen for future catering functions that would ideally service the proposed Art Gallery next door and users of the Cultural Precinct,” Mayor Strelow said.

“Original thoughts were to use the Bond Store which would have entailed an extra $1.5 million dollars to restore its interior, but the shift to Customs House benefits from the restoration that was done some years ago and is a cheaper alternative.”

As the temporary Smart Hub located next door to Customs House continues to grow with more start-ups and entrepreneurs signing up, Mayor Strelow said Council is very keen to get started on the fitout as soon as possible.

“At an initial glance we can see that the fitout in Customs House will require a false floor to level out the uneven sections of the existing floor, plus the addition of some glass walls and doors to make the space completely open and visible for any visitors who want to see the beautiful heritage architecture inside the building,” she said.

Last year Council received a grant of $258,000 from the State Government through the Building our Region’s funding program, which is half the cost of establishing the Smart Hub.

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