The director of new inner-city arts centre CarriageWorks, Sue Hunt, says she would love to see Mardi Gras stage events at the historic venue.

I certainly hope that that would be something that we could do, Hunt says.

I’d love to talk to Mardi Gras as we go through.

CarriageWorks is the result of a $50-million state government transformation of the former Eveleigh Rail Yards near Redfern.

The major new arts venue, including the 800-seat Bay 17 theatre and several smaller spaces, opens on 5 January with a series of modern performances for the Sydney Festival.

CarriageWorks shows will also have a distinctly historical flavour.

One of the terrific things the architects have done is to keep the history and the heritage side of things and yet place within it a real reference to the fact that it’s going to be contemporary, Hunt explains.

Venue designers have retained many original features of the rail yards, which operated from the late 1800s until 1988.

They’ve kept all the old steel columns, there are marvellous long corridors where you can see right from the front of the building to the back and see all the industrial flavour and history of it, Hunt says.

But then that corridor has wonderful skylights above it and you can see the new concrete work and so forth.

CarriageWorks will house several contemporary arts companies, including Performance Space, which moved to its new home after many years in Cleveland Street.

Hunt hopes to see more companies at CarriageWorks as the venue develops.

There’s lots of potential to diversify. We’ll hopefully build something that really captures the imagination.

For more information visit the CarriageWorks website.

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