Museum plans march on

TERRI RUSSELL
Last updated 13:27 21/12/2012

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Plans for an $80,000 storage room at the Mataura Museum have been put on hold after funding was knocked back, but the Gore District Council says it is not fatal to the restoration of the building.

The Mataura and Districts Historical Society has been granted almost $100,000 to renovate the 19th century museum which closed more than a year ago because it became cluttered.

Gore District Council heritage projects officer David Luoni said the museum, which would cost $200,000 to restore, was still on track to reopen next year despite a key funding bid being declined.

Funding applications were approved by the Southland Regional Heritage Committee, the Trusts Community Foundation and the Community Trust of Southland, he said.

However, the largest application of $79,000 was declined by The Coster Fund distribution committee.

"We are waiting on a letter setting out its reasons but it is not fatal to the project.

"Our initial thinking is to put the proposed museum store room on hold pending further fundraising for that part of the project," he said.

Mr Luoni said he was pleased the funding received could kickstart work.

Cottage renovations will start in March and plans were on track to open the museum in October, he said. The society would also raise $10,000 for the project.

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