Council to invest a further $2.5 million for the Clutha Community Hub
Clutha District Council approved further funding of $2.5 million using investment funds to support the Clutha Community Hub build at the Annual Plan Decisions Council Meeting held on Thursday (May 19).
Mayor Bryan Cadogan said after overwhelming support being shown through consultation for supporting funding of $2.5M, the Clutha Community Hub Trust can now forge ahead with completing this defining project.
“I want to thank all the funding partners for their ongoing support especially Kānoa who’s contribution around $10M and the Community Trust of Otago for their ongoing support of projects in the Clutha District.
“The public and the Trust have shown commitment, resolve and belief in a vibrant future for Clutha and prevailing through what has proven to be a challenging period,” Mayor Cadogan said.
The decision to put forward the $2.5M was further supported by Council with the recent confirmation from Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Kānoa - Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit to authorise a further investment of up to $2.5M.
The Otago Community Trust has also recently announced funding of $2.2M to this project.
The Clutha Community Hub Committee approached Council for additional funding citing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic that had put on the build with increasing pressure on the construction industry (supply and personnel) and the rising costs of inflation contributing $3.1M extra to the project cost.
Options had been put to the community in April as part of the Annual Plan 2022-23 consultation process including whether to support the extra funding and if so, which funding mechanism was appropriate (rates or investment).
Council acknowledged that using investment reserves meant it did not have any impact on rates.
While this option would use up investment fund returns currently available to Council, the fund would still stand at a forecast $28.3M.
Council also identified it could provide landscaping support as it fell within the Balclutha Streetscape Policy.
Council had already approved a budget of $7.5M to contribute to a new facility at the existing hall site, which was decided following consultation to adopt the Annual Plan 2020/21.
In May 2020 it was announced that construction would start on a new Clutha Community Hub to replace the Balclutha War Memorial Hall. Since then the old hall structure has been removed and the new one is taking shape.
Responsibility for implementing this project belongs to the Clutha Community Hub Trust and their website www.cluthacommunityhub.info provides project progress and updates to the public.