The heritage-listed Marrickville Town Hall is set to become a live music and performing arts centre, after the Inner West Council voted in favour of its conversion last year. Over the weekend, Mayor Darcy Byrne announced on Facebook that the council will soon open the final stage of its expression-of-interest process, inviting live-music venue operators and ethnic community organisations to submit proposals on how to make the centre a cultural destination. The plan is for concerts, performances and cultural events to be held in the building, in a similar vein to Chatswood’s Concourse – “a contemporary arts centre that attracts people from across Sydney and Australia”, according to Byrne.
In combination with the new Marrickville Library, which opened on the corner of Marrickville and Livingstone roads in 2019, the council hopes to turn Marrickville Road into a wider cultural precinct.
“The inner west is the birthplace of multicultural Australia, [and] by making Marrickville Town Hall a unique multicultural hub we can make sure this is a home for migrant communities for many decades to come,” Byrne said in a statement last year. “We have an opportunity to make Marrickville Town Hall one of Sydney’s great cultural assets.”
The council hopes to attract multicultural organisations and creative arts venues into the building, as well as make it accessible at a low cost for the local community. Byrne said on Facebook that operators will be selected based not on financial return, but on ability to “engage … multicultural, music and arts sectors”.
Opened in 1922, Marrickville Town Hall is the suburb’s oldest civic building, and Sydney’s fourth-oldest town hall. Prior to construction, the site was a market garden and nursery.