Ipoh set to host more performing arts events at upgraded heritage venues

Perak State for local government and housing chairman Sandrea Ng and Ipoh Mayor Datuk Rumaizi Baharin visiting the new refurbish Ipoh Town Hall.

IPOH: Large-scale events are planned for early next year following the completion of upgrading works at the Ipoh Town Hall and the conversion of the old post office into an art gallery.

Perak housing and local government committee chairman Sandrea Ng Shy Ching said these heritage venues would be fully operational by the end of the year.

She said with Ipoh declared as a City of Music by Unesco’s Creative Cities Network (UCCN), performing arts programmes such as concerts and music recitals would be held as early as next year.

The project to turn these heritage buildings into performing arts centres under the Ipoh Heritage Tourism Package 2 cost RM11mil, financed and implemented by the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA).

Work began in November 2022 and was completed on May 20.

“The upgrading of both buildings is a continuation of the upgrade of Ipoh Padang and Kinta Riverwalk (under Package 1) completed in 2022," Ng told reporters here on Monday (June 24).

She had earlier witnessed the handing over of keys for the Town Hall building to the Ipoh City Council and for the old post office to the National Visual Arts Development Board.

“The objective of this development is to (upgrade) facilities for visitors and tourists in the heritage tourism focus area of Ipoh Old Town, which is close to the train station that connects from Kuala Lumpur right up to Padang Besar in Perlis,” she added.

NCIA Penang, Perak and Kedah regional chief Fauzan Ismail handed over the keys of the Town Hall to Ipoh mayor Datuk Rumaizi Baharin.

Rumaizi, in turn, handed over the keys to the post office to the board's director-general Amerrudin Ahmad.

Ng said the project involved conserving, rehabilitating, restoring and upgrading the two buildings.

She said the new centres would enhance the city's music scene following the UCCN declaration.

“Before the upgrading there were constraints (with fully utilising) both the buildings but now with the refurbishment, both venues are ready to operate," she said, noting that the Town Hall building can now accommodate up to 500 people at events.

“So we are ready to receive and welcome various cultural and musical events to elevate the name of Ipoh.

"We also hope to see spillover impact, more job opportunities, as well as better prospects for small and medium enterprises,” she added.

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