Fremantle Arts Centre roof works from Monday, 13 March

Replacement of the Fremantle Arts Centre (FAC) roof is a major undertaking, managed and funded by the City of Fremantle. The latest restoration work represents the final stage of a long-term project to refurbish, repair and protect one of Fremantle’s best-loved heritage buildings.

Work on this essential project will begin Monday, 13 March. The work is expected to take approximately 12 weeks to complete.

In addition to replacing the Centre’s roof, specialist contractors will be removing asbestos cladding. The adherence to stringent WA compliance codes will ensure the asbestos is carefully removed whilst allowing FAC to continue delivering its much-loved exhibition and events program.

The City engaged consultants Hocking Heritage and Architecture to investigate suitable roof replacement options and they recommended heritage galvanised steel due to its superior waterproofing qualities to help enhance and protect the heritage building.

This is the final section of the building to have its roof replaced, with the remainder also having been replaced with heritage galvanised steel.

The original 1860s building featured a timber shingle roof, however shingles were not recommended for the new roof as they are prone to leaks, have a shorter life span and can be damaged in high winds making it unsuitable for a coastal location. These finishing works are on a much larger scale than previous works and will be undertaken in six stages, over several weeks.

Impact to Art Courses:

School Holiday Kids Courses and Adult Courses are going ahead and will take place in studios that are not affected by roof works. The only affected studios are located on the top floor in the north wing, and to negate any possible risk; the City has decided that these rooms will be closed for the duration of the works to ensure safety of staff and the public.

We Are Open!

We are pleased to inform you that our galleries, grounds and artisan gift shop, Found, will remain open during this time and we look forward to welcoming you to our latest exhibition, Other Horizons.


See our FAQs below or,

For more information on classes or Fremantle Arts Centre programs, please contact our team at

If you have questions about the roof replacement at Fremantle Arts Centre, please contact

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the roof being replaced?

The original 1860s timber shingle roof was prone to leaks, causing mould, and wasn’t suited to the requirements of an Art Centre. The City of Fremantle engaged specialist consultants Hocking Heritage and Architecture to investigate suitable roof replacement options, and the recommendation was to use heritage galvanised steel — which will provide superior waterproofing qualities to help enhance and protect the historic building.

How long will the works take?

The roof replacement project has been carried out in stages over the past eight years. Sections of the roof were replaced in 2015 and 2016, and the stage now underway is the final, and most complex, part of this project. These final works commence in mid-March, and are expected to be complete by July.

How is the Arts Centre impacted?

The staging of the roof replacement has been planned to allow the Centre to continue to operate while the works are carried out, and every effort has been made to minimise any disruption to our programs, our artists and our community — however, there will be some areas of the Centre that will be closed off while these essential works are completed. A small number of classes and activities will unfortunately be affected while these essential works are completed, but our first priority is to ensure the safety of our staff, members of the public and workers engaged on the project. Our galleries, shop and the majority of our grounds are unaffected. FAC will remain open seven days a week, and all concerts and events will continue to go ahead.

Is there asbestos in the roof?

Asbestos-clad roofing was added to the Fremantle Arts Centre during a major restoration project in the 1960s and 1970s. The sections of the roof now being replaced contain the last of this roofing, which is now nearing the end of its life.

How is the asbestos being removed?

The City has engaged specialist licensed contractors to carefully remove this material, in line with industry best practice and State Government regulations.

Is it safe for me to be at Fremantle Arts Centre while asbestos is being removed?

Yes. As part of the stringent compliance codes regarding asbestos removal, the management plans for the removal of this material have been assessed and approved by a Worksafe representative specialising in this area. It’s also important to note that the asbestos material involved is non-friable — meaning it is inert and can be removed and disposed of safely without any risk to the public or staff.

What else is involved in these works?

Other works carried out during the project will include minor repairs to the timber structure and roof battens, reinstatement of a damaged missing copper downpipe, roof anchor points to assist with any future works and the installation of sarking and insulation for improved cooling and heating.

Why is this work being done during such a busy period/term time?

Due to the nature of the works, the roof can only be replaced in the summer months when there is less chance of bad weather.

Will holiday programs still run in the upcoming school holidays?

Yes they will.

Will you be taking enrolments for classes?

Yes, for Kids and Adults courses.

Will upcoming exhibitions be impacted/cancelled?

No, upcoming exhibitions will not be affected by the works program.

Will upcoming events/concerts be impacted/cancelled?

No, upcoming events and concerts will not be affected by the works program.