Assurance on revamp of Globe

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 15:37 17/05/2012
Globe Theatre
MURRAY WILSON/Fairfax NZ

Why the wait? The Globe Theatre continues to await a makeover.

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The Globe Theatre Trust Board has a fundraising plan ready to go regardless of whether the Palmerston North City Council reinstates its $1.2 million makeover into next year's annual plan.

The board and supporters are fighting to overturn a council decision to delay the project until 2014-15.

Board member Denise Servante said in a submission on the council's long-term plan that the vision of completing the Main St "cultural precinct" was a tremendous one.

The Globe redevelopment would include a second, 100-seat auditorium for community and touring performers, and a cafe-bar linking it to Te Manawa.

But the timing – last year agreed for January to June 2013, but put back two years in the draft long-term plan – was crucial.

"It is difficult for community organisations to partner with the council over projects that take so long to come to fruition."

The redevelopment has been discussed for seven years, and this would be its fourth delay.

The council's proposed postponement had already put one of the board's applications for a large grant in jeopardy, but a stay had been negotiated given that the draft has not been finalised.

The trust board has promised to raise $400,000 as its share of the costs, dedicated to the fitout.

It already had $100,000, and was hoping to attract three major grants adding up to $200,000.

Naming rights would be sold for the current and the new auditorium.

The trust board was looking for nine other organisations to join it as $10,000 sponsors.

The balance would be raised by encouraging between 100 and 200 individuals to pledge $5 to $10 a month for five years.

The patron scheme would be launched in July, offering those donors perks such as free tickets, invitations to first-night shows, and opportunities to meet the stars of various shows.

The board's fundraising would go toward refurbishment if the council did not give the go-ahead for the redevelopment next year.

Councillors Annette Nixon and Vaughan Dennison said, after hearing Ms Servante's submission, that it was "helpful" to know the fundraising plan was in place.

Mayor Jono Naylor said earlier concern about the trust board's ability to raise its share had contributed to councillors choosing to push out the start date.

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- Manawatu Standard

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