Construction has commenced on the refurbishment of the Sutherland Entertainment Centre, with the local performing arts facility receiving a long-planned upgrade.

With Sutherland Shire Councillors, builder ADCO Constructions and project management firm Root Partnerships holding a sod turn ceremony on Thursday, the dramatic overhaul will deliver significant improvements for both performers and audience members alike.

Sutherland Shire mayor Steve Simpson says he was proud of the collective efforts of both staff and Councillors who had worked passionately to deliver a shared vision for the revitalised facility.

“The Sutherland Entertainment Centre has played host to countless performances by talented local performers and big name acts from further afield over the years and has been a cultural epicentre for Sutherland Shire throughout its life,” he says.

“Like the many local arts and culture lovers and all those in our talented local performing arts community, I can’t wait to see these works completed and the curtains raised on a new and vastly improved Entertainment Centre next year.”

The major improvements of the centre will see a refurbished theatre with tiered seating for over 680 patrons, a larger foyer with enhanced accessibility, including lift access and improved amenities, as well as an enhanced back-of-house area for performers or hirers.

Mayor Simpson says the project would deliver a boom to the local economy, supporting the creation of jobs through the construction phase and supporting a more vibrant performing arts sector once completed.

“The works will not only directly assist the arts community, which has been heavily impacted by the current COVID-19 restrictions, but they will also provide welcome employment and economic stimulus to the local community,” Simpson says.

Contractors are currently working to safely secure the site before construction commences in the coming weeks. Construction is expected to continue onsite for some months, with works expected to be completed in late 2021.

Image: Supplied.