Hastings councillors have voted to take out a $5.5 million loan to complete its redevelopment of the Municipal Building in the CBD.
Councillors voted to allocate the additional unbudgeted funding at a Strategy and Policy Committee meeting on Tuesday.
Group manager corporate Bruce Allan said that if the council decided to approve the funding request it would provide certainties around timeframes.
While the council will still look at further options for external funding, its previous success in receiving $9.47m of external funding for the arts precinct redevelopment may mean there was not a "high level of confidence" the council would be "high in the pecking order" to receive additional external funding.
If the additional funding was not allocated, it would have meant the existing $3.8m in council funding would be stretched as far as it could go.
Allan said this could have meant the upstairs of the heritage building would be undeveloped, the laneway which joins to Toitoi would not be developed and the ground floor only partially complete while the council tried to gather as much external funding as possible.
Councillor Wendy Schollum said the unfinished building is a "gaping wound" and if it is not completed it would stop the investment in the arts precinct being fully realised.
She said the entire Toitoi complex has multi-generational benefits to the community. As a child, she had performed in the Municipal Building and gone to a school ball there.
"There are countless people with those stories," she said.
Councillor Kevin Watkins said that while the additional funding is "considerable money" in context with the restoration of other historic buildings, "just" $5.5m to finish the complex is "fantastic".
He said the Toitoi complex will be "the light of Hastings" and he wants to see it open.
Councillor Simon Nixon said it was disappointing the council now had to find extra money but he "couldn't see how we cannot do it".
"If we get this far and don't finish, a big chunk gets wasted," he said.
The unbudgeted $5.5m loan will be paid back by the council over 25 years, Allan said.
When complete, the Municipal Building ground floor will include a flexible space for arts and performance, Toitoi staff offices, hospitality and retail tenants, a laneway connecting to the wider Toitoi complex, the Hastings i-Site and the Toitoi ticket office.
The first floor will be largely unchanged, with the Assembly and Shakespeare Rooms and old Mayor's Office.