Scottish Hall may be listed

01:43, Jan 31 2009

The Scottish Hall is tipped to receive a Historic Places Trust listing but it might not be enough to spare it from future demolition.

The New Zealand Historic Places Trust is soon to seek submissions for a proposal to include the Scottish Hall on its register but even then the listing would only pertain to the building's social significance — not its use or loss.

Trust Southland-Otago area manager Owen Graham said public submissions on the category two listing would open in the next couple of weeks, with a decision not expected before May.

While there would need to be a strong case against endorsing the nomination, a listing gave no guarantee to the 50-year-old hall's future.

The council began consulting with Invercargill residents about the future of the Scottish Hall last year, at which time it said it didn't want to operate it anymore.

Unless a trust can be formed, and a new use for the hall is found, it will probably be demolished.

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However, Invercargill man Karl Barkley said he didn't collect 6000 signatures to walk away from his campaign to save the hall.

"As long as I'm standing and breathing it won't be getting demolished, unless they want to knock me over first," he said.

Mr Barkley said Scottish people were an important part of the city's heritage. "The hall has got all the tartans and crests of all the people that pioneered Southland. Nowhere else in the world has anyone else got that," he said.

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt admitted he didn't know what the future held for the hall, but that he would like to see it used as a museum to celebrate the city's Scottish heritage.

Mr Barkley said he had been given until tomorrow by the council to come up with a group to run the hall.

 

The Southland Times