Destination funding explained

21:36, Jun 11 2014

Destination Marlborough was granted an extra $200,000 from the Marlborough District Council in its draft annual plan, as requested, but only $100,000 comes from ratepayer funding.

The Marlborough Express incorrectly reported on Monday that only the first $100,000 had been approved.

Some of the regional tourism organisation's extra funding is contingent on the Marlborough Story going ahead, council financial chief Martin Fletcher said.

One half would come from general rates, and the other half would come from forestry reserve funds. That second sum was tagged to assist in the implementation of the Marlborough Story, market the conference centre and new civic theatre, and to assist the review of Marlborough's overall smart and connected economic development policy, events and tourism and marketing structure, as advocated by Destination Marlborough and other submitters to the council's draft annual plan, he said.

Fletcher said the $50,000 tagged to fund the Marlborough Story was contingent on the regional marketing and branding exercise getting approval: "If it's not, funding won't be needed for implementation. That's the contingent part of it."

The Marlborough District Council settled on an increase of 3.26 per cent in the overall rates-take for the year, with the region's social infrastructure set to benefit from many of the spending decisions, Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman said.


Most new spending related to replacing or upgrading important social infrastructure and one-offs would come from council reserve funds, Sowman said.

"Councillors accepted the time had come to start investing in the community again."

He said councillors agreed the repair and maintenance of social infrastructure, particularly sports facilities, which had been on hold for the last few years of difficult economic times, should not be postponed any longer.

"We can only avoid doing some of this maintenance work for so long before we start creating bigger problems for ourselves in the future," he said.

Councillors agreed to funding requests for help from cycling, equestrian and cricket in Marlborough.

The council was in the fortunate position of having investments which are making good returns for the ratepayers of Marlborough and healthy reserves are in place. Council has agreed to use reserve funds for the district's sports facilities, Sowman said.

Sowman said councillors were also happy to support community-led projects such as the new Link Pathway project, a walking-cycling track connecting Havelock and Picton.

"We have approved funding where it will help generate future prosperity - for example, boosting tourism through the Link pathway or funding for some of the innovation development happening with the Marlborough Research Centre."

A large number of projects have been referred to council committees to consider from either existing budgets or to settle upon future funding arrangements using reserve funds.


Projects the Marlborough District Council is backing:

$20,000 for the Marlborough Heritage Trust

$27,156 for upgrading rural roading at French Pass

$10,000 for the Council's Sister City relationships

$7500 for the Awatere Community Trust which manages Seddon's community facilities

$5000 for the Marlborough Migrant Centre

$5000 for the Picton Historical Society

The Marlborough Express