Fremantle Arts Centre Conservation Management Plan

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The CMP was reviewed by Council on 14 July 2021. Thank you for your participation. 

Photo by Rebecca Mansell

We’re preparing a conservation management plan for the Fremantle Arts Centre buildings, to help guide the future conservation and care of this important place.


Designed by Richard Roach Jewell, the centre was constructed by convict labour as the colony’s Lunatic Asylum in 1861. Additions to the building designed by George Temple Poole were constructed in the 1880s and 1890s. The Fremantle Arts Centre (FAC) buildings have considerable cultural heritage significance and is included in the State Register of Heritage Places (RHP) as Museum and Arts Centre, Fremantle (Heritage Place no 00875).

The site has a fascinating history, and today is a well-known landmark, housing one of the leading arts organisations in Australia.


What is in the conservation management plan?

The City of Fremantle has engaged specialists to prepare a conservation management plan (CMP) for the Fremantle Arts Centre buildings. A CMP helps to understand the place and its heritage values and provides policies to enable its significance to be retained in its future use, interpretation and development. The CMP:

  • Contains a set of recommendations, which focus on the conservation and enhancement of the place and form part of a range of consideration.
  • Also considers maintenance requirements that recognise the need to replace material from time to time.
  • Considers reversing some past ill-advised maintenance measures and some re-thinking in respect to the landscape.
  • Deals with the conservation of the significant building elements, perimeter walls, setting and archaeology, and some future development if and when required.
  • Suggests additional values that might be included in a revised statement of significance (as it was an early registration), which will assist with how the place is regarded and conserved.



Images courtesy of Fremantle City Library History Centre


The engagement report is now complete and can be accessed by clicking here or from the 'document library'.


We’re preparing a conservation management plan for the Fremantle Arts Centre buildings, to help guide the future conservation and care of this important place.


Designed by Richard Roach Jewell, the centre was constructed by convict labour as the colony’s Lunatic Asylum in 1861. Additions to the building designed by George Temple Poole were constructed in the 1880s and 1890s. The Fremantle Arts Centre (FAC) buildings have considerable cultural heritage significance and is included in the State Register of Heritage Places (RHP) as Museum and Arts Centre, Fremantle (Heritage Place no 00875).

The site has a fascinating history, and today is a well-known landmark, housing one of the leading arts organisations in Australia.


What is in the conservation management plan?

The City of Fremantle has engaged specialists to prepare a conservation management plan (CMP) for the Fremantle Arts Centre buildings. A CMP helps to understand the place and its heritage values and provides policies to enable its significance to be retained in its future use, interpretation and development. The CMP:

  • Contains a set of recommendations, which focus on the conservation and enhancement of the place and form part of a range of consideration.
  • Also considers maintenance requirements that recognise the need to replace material from time to time.
  • Considers reversing some past ill-advised maintenance measures and some re-thinking in respect to the landscape.
  • Deals with the conservation of the significant building elements, perimeter walls, setting and archaeology, and some future development if and when required.
  • Suggests additional values that might be included in a revised statement of significance (as it was an early registration), which will assist with how the place is regarded and conserved.



Images courtesy of Fremantle City Library History Centre


The engagement report is now complete and can be accessed by clicking here or from the 'document library'.


The CMP was reviewed by Council on 14 July 2021. Thank you for your participation. 

  • Council decision - Recommendations accepted

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    by Rhiannon,

    At their meeting on 14 July 2021, Council noted the engagement input and the conservation management plan (CMP). The item provided an overview of the issues facing the conservation of the building and a recommended response in the new conservation management plan (CMP). Council agreed with a recommendation for continued planning to progress the works recommended in the CMP in the City's long term financial plan. The estimated cost of all the works identified in the CMP is $4,950,000.

    You can access the minutes directly by clicking here or visit the City's agendas and minutes page: https://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/council/agendas-and-minutes

  • Proposed CMP to Committee - 14 July 2021

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    by Rhiannon,

    A proposed conservation management plan (CMP) for the Fremantle Arts Centre will be considered by the FPOL committee on 14 July 2021. The item presents the engagement report, an overview of the issues facing the conservation of the building and a recommended response in the new conservation management plan (CMP). It also recommends continued planning to progress the recommended works in the CMP in the City's long term financial plan. The estimated cost of all the works identified in the CMP is $4,950,000.

    Attending Committee

    FPOL Committee - 14 July 2021, commencing 6.00pm, North Fremantle Community Hall 2 Thompson Rd North Fremantle.

    Committee meetings are open to the public. Members of the public are welcome to attend or register to speak at Committee and Council meetings, you can find more information on this here.

    Further information

  • Engagement Report Complete

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    by Rhiannon,

    The engagement report is now compiled and can be accessed by clicking here or from the document library. The detailed feedback received will be reviewed by the project team and the CMP amended as needed, before it is finalised. The final report will include a schedule of all recommendations prioritised for completion according to their relative importance and costed by a quantity surveyor. In 2021 the City will be engaging a heritage consultant to produce contract documentation for the recommendations made in the CMP. The contract documentation will be used for funding advocacy and included as part of grant applications should they be available. All submitters will be made aware when the Plan is going to Council, expected mid-2021.

  • Feedback on the draft CMP

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    by Rhiannon,

    How can I contribute my thoughts?

    Earlier in the year we called on you to help build on the rich stories and existing research already shared about the Fremantle Arts Centre.

    We've now prepared a draft conservation management plan and invite your feedback:

    • You can access the CMP online here or in the document library (large file) and share your feedback below.
    • You can also browse a hard copy at the Fremantle Arts Centre reception (10.00am to 5.00pm) and complete a submission.

    All submissions are due by Sunday 11 October 2020.