There has been some very heavy lifting at the Opera House over the last few weeks, with the last of the steel roof struts due to be in place by the end of this month.

An estimated 80 tonnes of steel was required for the new roof. The largest single truss was set in place this week, with several smaller lifts to go before that stage of the project was finished. The new roof cladding would go on as soon as possible after the steel had been bolted into place.

It had been a particularly tricky process, with sections of the old roof needing to be put back at the end of each working day to protect the heritage building from the weather.

Inside the facility, the building of the sheer walls on the ground floor has been completed and the construction of the sheer walls on the first floor will start in the next few weeks. They are being built over the old unreinforced earthquake-prone brick side walls.

Once the crane lifting the steel into place can be removed from its site inside the Plaza, the rebuilding of that facility will be started.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said it was very pleasing that the roof work was proceeding within the expected time-frame.

“Every milestone that we reach, such as getting the new roof on, brings us closer to the day when we can celebrate having our beloved Opera House open again, hosting amazing events.”

The rebuilding of the Plaza is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year, with the earthquake-strengthening and refurbishment of the Opera House due to be completed by the end of 2019.