Mataura museum secures $46,000 grant

The doors to the closed museum in Mataura are one step closer to reopening after a key funding contribution was given the green light this week.

The Mataura Licensing Trust approved a grant of $46,000 for the Mataura and Districts Historical Society to restore the town's 19th century museum building, known as Clematis Cottage.

The project is expected to cost more than $200,000 to restore the displays, work space and storage areas.

Gore District Council heritage projects officer David Luoni said it was fantastic to have such a generous contribution approved for the project. "It gives a real sense of optimism for the project."

The museum closed more than a year ago when the collection became cluttered and prompted a move to transfer items to a digital format and plans to upgrade the building.

Various applications have been made to funding organisations and if approved, the museum could be open by next October, he said.

It will house collections on the town's industrial history including the paper mill, freezing works, dairy and lignite industry, Mr Luoni said.

"We're really strong on Mataura's industrial history and that history is unique."

The Southland Times