LTP: What is the future of Balmoral Hall?

Published: 10 April 2024

Balmoral Hall, the subject of a key decision in the draft Long Term Plan out now for consultation, will be open on Saturday 13 April so members of the public can look around the building.

Council’s preferred option is to sell the ageing hall and adjacent old Polytech site, though other options are to retain and repair, or demolish or relocate the buildings and redevelop the site.

Ashburton Mayor Neil Brown said Balmoral Hall needed $1.3 million spent on it to bring it up to building code.

“The hall leaks, the heating is inadequate and the kitchen and bathroom facilities are substandard, so it needs a lot of investment.

“That has sparked a wider discussion about what to do with the hall and Polytech site, which includes an old classroom and surrounding land.”

People interested in seeing Balmoral Hall for themselves can visit on Saturday 13 April, between 10am and 2pm.

Mayor Brown said the open hall was at the same time as a sausage sizzle at Baring Square East, where Councillors would be talking about the Long Term Plan and answering questions.

“Balmoral Hall is just two blocks away, so people can take a look around and then come back and talk to us if they have questions.

“There are a lot of details about the hall already on our website. It has a capital value of $1 million and the Polytech building and land is $1.45m, and if we sell the properties we can reduce Council debt overall.

“We know there are a lot of memories attached to Balmoral Hall and it has been well used by the community since it was built in 1936. A dance school currently uses the hall at $25 an hour, but all the income from hirers only covers about a quarter of the hall’s actual expenses, which include insurance and electricity.”

If Balmoral Hall was retained, Council would borrow $1.3m to do the repairs and the debt would cost ratepayers $388,000 a year until it was paid off.

Mayor Brown said that a dance studio was being proposed at EA Networks Centre, should the hall be sold.

“If it is determined that Balmoral Hall is to be demolished and a dance studio is to be included in the EA Networks Centre, Council would try to coordinate this to prevent a gap between the demolition and the new studio. However, all decisions would be subject to the final form of the Long Term Plan.”

To have your say on this topic and for more information about the draft Long Term Plan go to

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