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Progress on arts centre

ESTHER LAUAKI
Last updated 05:00 04/07/2012
MAC Centre

STEP CLOSER: From left: Bernard Makoare, Adam Taylor, Lindsay Mackie, David Fullbrook, Debbie Tikao and Hamish Cameron have been selected as the master planning and design team for the Glen Innes Music and Arts Centre.

MAC Centre
GI CENTRE: The site where the Glen Innes Music and Arts Centre will be built.

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The Glen Innes community is one giant step closer to getting its music and arts centre.

Auckland Council adopted its Long Term Plan on June 28 and earmarked $8 million for the facility over the next three years.

Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board chairwoman Leila Boyle has campaigned for the centre for years.

"We're really pleased with the progress so far, this is the furthest we've ever gotten. It's been a long time coming and we want to make sure that we get everything just right so we don't waste the money."

The council's regional and local planning spokeswoman Vanessa James says the aim is to work closely with the community.

"It's a hugely significant project and that's why we're determined to make it happen."

Archimedia+ has been selected as the master planning and design team to move the project to the next stage.

A meeting at Ruapotaka Marae on June 20 discussed a masterplan for future development on the site.

The wider community is invited to a public meeting on July 14 at the marae for input into the structural design.

Getting this far into the planning phase is a milestone for a project that's been 20 years in the making.

The council allocated $250,000 last year to investigate a music and arts centre in Glen Innes, although a need for a venue to nourish its people's artistic and musical talents was identified in the mid-1990s.

The former Auckland City Council allocated funding to it, withdrew it, allocated more money and cancelled it again.

Architect Hamish Cameron says the Archimedia+ team is thrilled to be on board. "It is a precious opportunity to evoke the identity of the local community and enhance their daily experience through exceptional design."

Debbie Tikao of Natural Habitats brings a wealth of landscaping knowledge to the development.

"I'm super excited to be working with the community on such a significant project that will bring so many benefits to the youth of Glen Innes," she says.

"As a mother of two and advocate of environmental sustainability I look forward to combining these passions to bring forth the values and vision assigned to the Glen Innes Music and Arts Centre and wider Auckland goals."

Visit aucklandcouncil.govt.nz for more information on plans for the area.

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- East And Bays Courier

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