Performing arts centre plans dealt blow

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 11/07/2014
Trevor Daley
NICOLE JOHNSTONE/Fairfax NZ
PERFORMANCE PLANS: Performing Arts Centre Committee acting chairman Trevor Daley looks goes through plans for the performing arts hub the committee is planning.

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An ambitious plan for a performing arts centre has been dealt a blow by the Invercargill City Council.

The performing arts centre committee, which aspires to build an arts centre adjoining the Scottish Hall, submitted plans to the council during the annual plan process. The plans included its hopes to use the council's Scottish Hall and that it would not need council funding.

However, the group has changed its tune and, at the council meeting this week, a report tabled by chief executive Richard King requested funds from the council and a letter of support.

But councillors turned down the request for money or a letter of support.

Instead, councillors Lindsay Abbott and Rebecca Amundsen will sit on the art centre committee.

After the meeting, art centre committee acting chairman Trevor Daley said it was disappointing to be turned away but he was pleased to have the councillors on the committee.

Councillor Karen Arnold said she believed the public should be consulted about the proposal before the council put any weight behind it.

"I can remember very clearly asking the representatives if they were looking for any money ... and we were told that no money was required."

Daley said that was originally the case but the group had been told unexpectedly that it would need to get its plan in greater detail for funding applications.

It asked the council for that funding, expected to be about $5000, to help it complete that and apply for the main chunk of money from other groups, he said.

Not getting the money was a blow but the letter of support was needed the most, he said.

He was optimistic the group would recieve it eventually.

The group planned to sell the Garrison Band rooms and Musicians' Club to fund the part of the project, fundraise and approach community funders for the rest, he said.

Councillor Neil Boniface agreed with Arnold that consultation would be key but the council also had other projects to focus on.

"The museum is our priority at the moment."

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- The Southland Times

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