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Coronation Hall refurbishment done

A potential new hotspot for community and private gatherings could be on the cards now that the doors to the 111-year-old Coronation Hall at Queen Elizabeth Park have recently reopened, after being closed to the public for refurbishment.

The Masterton District Council-owned hall – which was once home to Cafe Cecille and Coco Cafe – will unlikely see another eatery operating out of the premises, according to Masterton Mayor Gary Caffell.

“Why we’ve moved away from the idea of another cafe is because it just hasn’t been successful,” Caffell said.

“There have been cafes here that have gone well for a while but, for various reasons, they’ve had to shut up. We thought it’s time to perhaps look at going some other way.”

As previously reported by the Times-Age, the hall’s annual operational costs – including security and building maintenance – sat at $11,500 when it was left vacant.

While a final decision hasn’t been made yet, the possibility of using the space for expos, art galleries, studios, and music events has already sparked the interest of members of the public.

“We would like to be able to lease it out to someone on a more regular basis. We’re certainly not in it to make huge money out of it or anything. We just want to get the place moving – it’s such a nice place,” Caffell said.

“It’s just unfortunate that it’s been unused for so long.”

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