Big boost for grandstand restoration

Sanson’s unused rugby grandstand is getting a makeover and locals want it to regain its status as a landmark.

The grandstand, once used to watch rugby games, has slipped into a state of disrepair but the Manawatu District Council has set aside $5000 to give it a spruce-up.

Council community services group manager Brent Limmer said the money would be used to make the grandstand a little safer, which was good news to the Sanson community committee.

Committee secretary Delphine Parker said: ‘‘We want to see it made safe because people use it when watching the blo-karts. Children climb on it and there are holes in the floorboards and some of the seats aren’t good either.’’

She had been a long-time advocate for the grandstand and had made a submission to the council’s long-term plan.

Mrs Parker said  she was glad that the council had listened and was doing something.

Mr Limmer said there was not a programme of works yet so he could not say when any work on the grandstand would start.

‘‘There’s no timetable yet, we need to scope all the work around the district and then we will have a better idea of what needs doing first.’’

Mrs Parker said it would be nice to see the grandstand returned to its former glory, but Mr Limmer said the community would need to do some fundraising or talk to the council for any work more than was already agreed.

‘‘If the Sanson community want more, they will need to decide what and how it is going to be paid for,’’ he said.

Mrs Parker said the grandstand was part of Sanson’s history and many people used it as a landmark indicating they were close to home.

It was once used by Pacific Finance in an advertisement and several breweries used it as a marketing billboard, as had Manfeild Park and other businesses, she said.

The committee might look at a campaign to upgrade it and keep it, Mrs Parker said. ‘‘It’s certainly an option we should discuss.’’

Manawatu Standard