Clutha Community Hub
Clutha Community Hub Trust
During the consultation process for the Our Place Balclutha Community Plan, turning the Balclutha War Memorial Hall into a rejuvenated community hub ranked the second-highest priority for the community (the first being the entrances to the Balclutha bridge).
A steering committee was formed by the Council from the local community after a request of interest, and subsequently, a Charitable Trust was formed by the Committee to progress the project to the business case and represent the community as a legal entity.
The new facility will be owned, governed and managed by the Clutha Community Hub Charitable Trust on behalf of the community. It is vitally important that the facility is financially sustainable long term, to not only keep it affordable for the local community, but to allow it to evolve as the needs of the community do.
- Clutha Community Hub Link to the flythrough video of the new Hub design (on Facebook)
- External funding for Clutha Community Hub is confirmed. Link to Media Release.
Timeline - Balclutha Memorial Hall Re-development
How did we get here? This timeline outlines the process and contains links to key documents and other pieces of information that were part of the discussion along the way leading up to the demolition of the old Balclutha Memorial Hall and the building of the new Clutha Community Hub.
In 2016 Clutha District Council received a commissioned report from BECA providing an seismic assessment of the main Council buildings and halls.
This report assessed the Balclutha War Memorial Hall, in respect of life safety impacts of occupants, at 18% of New Building Strength, putting it in the 'Earthquake Prone' category.
As part of the Our Place Balclutha community consultation residents were asked for their opinions about the future of the Balclutha Memorial Hall. Three options were suggested
- Update the current facility as is. This included continuing with the repairs and upgrades signaled in Council’s 2015/25 Long Term Plan and was focused on maintenance issues and earthquake strengthening.
- Create a multi-purpose community and visitor hub. This involved redeveloping the War Memorial Hall to create a multi-purpose arts and heritage hub, incorporating an auditorium, exhibition space, visitor i-Site and Council service centre.
- Demolish and relocate the i-Site. This involved Council walking away from the hall, leaving the site levelled and empty, finding an alternative permanent home for the i-Site, and looking at what other facilities in the town could fill the hall's functions.
The details of each of these three options were presented in the Our Place Balclutha consultation document and can be read here.
In April 2017 the Our Place Balclutha consultation feedback report was presented at the Council meeting. This report is a summary of the feedback received from the Our Place Balclutha community consultation.
This report showed that the overwhelming majority of people who responded preferred option 2 (above) - to create a multi-purpose arts and heritage hub. The table below shows the numbers.
NOTE: The result for Option 3 - To disestablish the current hall facility - has been and is being used, incorrectly, to suggest that there was little support for demolishing the Hall. As explained fully above, this option was only ever about demolishing the Hall and walking away from the site. At this stage in the process there was not a proposal to demolish the Hall and replace it. That, as can be seen below, arose later.
Community-led Committee formed.
In June 2017 a community-led committee was formed to explore options and develop a business case including a feasibility study.
Balclutha Community Plan
At the Council Meeting on 5 April the Our Place Balclutha Community Plan was adopted. The plan recognises the hall project as one of most important items identified in the consultation process and Council gave it a high priority.
The coordinating group was to complete the comprehensive business case, including considering the level of involvement from Council, the community, and other stakeholders, and potential models of ownership.
Clutha Community Hub Charitable Trust formed
The Clutha Community Hub Charitable Trust was formed in 2018 to represent the community as a legal entity and to progress the project.
Feasibility Study completed
The feasibility study can be downloaded from the Clutha Community Hub Trust web page or read here. It concluded that a new option - a New Build of a two storey complex on the existing site that meet functional needs - was the most appropriate solution.
Comprehensive business case completed
The Clutha Community Hub Trust presented their business case to Council in May 2019. A PDF of the document is available from the Trust website.
Formal agreement to redevelop the facility
On 1 August the Clutha Community Hub Charitable Trust and Clutha District Council reached a formal agreement (MOU) to redevelop the Balclutha Memorial Hall facility. Read the detailed announcement here.
The Clutha Community Trust announced the agreement and the new build, and released a Clutha Community Hub Update - August 2019.
Council decides on their funding contribution
During the Annual Plan process for 2020/21, Council consulted with the community on the next step for the Balclutha Memorial Hall re-development and decided the financial commitment it was prepared to make to support the future of the hall.
After receiving public feedback, at the Council meeting on 14 May 2020, Council decided that further planning and development work should get underway, and included a budget of $7.5M in the Annual Plan 2020/21. This was to be a grant to the Clutha Hub Community Trust, but the grant was only to be available if the Trust were able to secure at least 75% of the residual balance from other sources. (Agenda and Minutes of the 14 May 2020 meeting are available here)
External funding confirmed
On 17 July 2020 it was announced that the Government's Crown Infrastructure Partner's (CIP) shovel-ready project fund had granted the project $7 million.
Hall readied for demolition
In early December 2020 the i-Site and other tenants moved out of the hall when it was closed in preparation for the start of demolition in early 2021.
This project belongs to the Clutha Community Hub Trust (with Council now only the provider of a grant) and the Trust website will carry project progress updates.