Ferneham Hall was first opened in 1982 and had been looking tired and dated. Although operating costs had been reduced considerably prior to its closure, Ferneham Hall operated at an annual deficit of around £400,000. This was partly due to the design not being appropriate for modern shows, with large sets, elaborate effects, staging and lighting being required.
The investment from Fareham Borough Council will see the venue totally transformed with a larger main auditorium with improved standard of seating, a secondary performance space, new bar and café area, a dance studio and space for community groups and organisations.
An operator will manage Fareham Live on the Council's behalf as a vibrant and profitable arts and entertainment venue which will eventually negate the need for any further subsidies from the Council.
Ferneham Hall closed its doors in January 2020 ready for the remodelling works. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Council to put the project on hold for 10 months. Work is now back underway and started on 08 August 2022.
Completion and opening is planned for Spring 2024. Watch out for regular updates as the build programme progresses.
The new Fareham Live is set to become a vibrant arts and entertainment venue in the heart of Fareham town centre.
It will have:
Fareham Borough Council has appointed Neilcott Construction Limited to complete the construction of Fareham Live.
Neilcott Construction Limited is an established regional contractor, based in Winchester, with considerable experience in delivering bespoke, high-quality construction solutions across the south east. This makes them uniquely suited to take on this ambitious multi-million-pound project.
The Council has agreed to allocate £16.69 million to complete Fareham Live.
The cost of raw materials and building resources for construction projects have rapidly increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This resulted in the costs rising from £12.57m in late 2020 to £13.35m in 2021. The overall project budget was then increased to £16.69m in 2022, to incorporate the increase in construction related costs, alongside contingencies, consultant's fees and furniture, fittings and equipment purchases were included.
The name Fareham Live was chosen through a public consultation to gather people's views on suggested names. This was held over a four-week period and resulted in the clear winner 'Fareham Live' with almost half (49%) of the 1060 responses voting for it.
The Kiln was the second option chosen by the public with 25% (269) of responses, The Quay third with 18% (185) and The Tannery the least popular with just 8% (85) of responses.
The open-air car parks to the new Fareham Live site are closed throughout the build programme until the launch of the new venue in 2024.
This allows room for the construction site to be established as well as providing parking for the construction vehicles. These closures are necessary to keep the public and the construction team safe throughout the remodelling works.
The access road to the front of the site will remain open for vehicular access to the library and taxi rank only.
In the meantime, there are plenty of alternative car parks for town centre visitors and further information with maps can be found here.
Yes. The venue will need to be fully staffed and we anticipate it generating both permanent and casual jobs.
There will also be business opportunities, which can be discussed with the operator in due course.
Fareham Live is an ambitious redevelopment project which will not only regenerate the civic quarter, but potentially kickstart wider investment into the town centre.
Fareham Live is set to become a bustling hub of activity, daytime and evening, seven days a week, offering something for everyone. This brings with it jobs for local people, opportunities for business and further investment in the area.
If you would like to continue to receive regular information about Fareham Live, you can sign up for emails using our online form, and follow Fareham Borough Council's Facebook, Instagram and X feeds.