At the moment, the Armidale Courthouse Trust consists of an ad hoc group of people very keen to see the old courthouse remain in public hands and be used for community purposes, said trust president Gordon Cope, and he thinks one of those purposes may well be a small community theatre.
... that's a great venue for Chamber Music because you don't want a great big space that you can't fill for Chamber MusicGordon Cope
"It's a good height and has good acoustics and would be a nice performance space," Gordon said.
"We would also like to see it used for contemporary music because with the demise of the old Armidale Club we're keen to get to get a place for contemporary music. We've got a huge cohort of wonderful contemporary musical performers in the city.
"It's fantastic. And we've got people who want to do Chamber Music, that's a great venue for Chamber Music because you don't want a great big space that you can't fill for Chamber Music."
Gordon said if the trust controlled the building for that purpose, it would make it available to the community on an affordable basis.
"Maybe just on a seat levee of say, $5. So, if five people come to see your show you pay five dollars, or something like that," he said.
"On top of that, there are another 12 other rooms in that complex that we know we can rent to arts-based groups who do have a budget for accommodation so that should keep the lights on and pay the bills."
Gordon said the trust had spoken to both Armidale Regional Council and Member for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall about the issue.
"I would urge council to put the building into community hands because we would put our names forward as community managers, and we do have an idea that we will be taking to council for their support," he said.
Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray said it was great in concept, but to his knowledge no decision had been made on the future of the old Courthouse.
"It could be a good use for it, but until that decision is made, we as a council can't do much about it," he said.
"But I reckon anything like plays or musicals that could be held in that area, where people could go for short performance at lunchtime, would be a good use of that facility.
"And there are a lot of groups who would like to use the old Courthouse."