Asbestos forces venue change

The Portobello Coronation Hall is closed while asbestos is removed from the building. PHOTO:...
The Portobello Coronation Hall is closed while asbestos is removed from the building. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
A Dunedin theatre group had to secure a late change of venue when it turned out a community hall was closed to enable the safe removal of asbestos.

But the show - The End of the Golden Weather - moved just down the road and nobody involved in the production was knocked off their stride.

The Portobello Coronation Hall, the intended venue for last Sunday’s matinee, is having a heating upgrade as part of a $420,000 Provincial Growth Fund grant to upgrade 11 community halls in Dunedin.

Dunedin City Council property services group manager Dave Bainbridge-Zafar said asbestos was found during the work to upgrade the heating.

Scaffolding has been erected around the building, enabling the material to be removed safely, and the hall is likely to reopen in the coming days.

The need to find an alternative venue added some adrenaline to show producer Rosella Hart’s Sunday morning.

But it was soon discovered nearby Hooper’s Inlet Hall would do the job.

The show, performed by Matt Wilson, was put on by Wow! Productions and Sunday’s matinee ended a successful season.

Ms Hart said that, in a tour involving several venues, challenges were likely to crop up somewhere.

It was fortunate the group was able to get a suitable venue so close by.

"It worked out great, actually," she said.

Mr Bainbridge-Zafar said it was best practice to close the hall while the asbestos was removed.

"While it’s unfortunate that this has impacted a group using the hall, the upgrade will be beneficial for all hall users," he said.

Bookings are managed by the hall committee.

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