Plan for vibrant arts hub put to council

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 16/04/2014
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ROBYN EDIE/Fairfax NZ
Vibrant Invercargill town centre manager Joan Scarlett.
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Poll: An ambitious proposal for a large performing arts hub in the central city has been presented to the council, detailing plans for a $5 million complex.

Vibrant Invercargill town centre manager Joan Scarlett spoke on behalf of three groups who have joined forces to come up with a plan, looking for council support but not a monetary injection.

The groups, including the Scottish Hall Trust, Invercargill Garrison Band and the Musicians Club, have been planning the complex for years and hope to build it adjacent to the Scottish Hall in Esk St.

The group is now hoping to acquire the two buildings owned by The Southland Times next door to the hall, which the council has also considered buying for parking, and join two new buildings with the council-owned hall.

Scarlett said the group had been in discussions with The Times and wished to buy and demolish the two buildings to build two large practice rooms.

The words on most of the councillors' lips was how much it was going to cost, but Scarlett said they were not looking for funding.

The groups were confident they would be able to raise the $4.875m required through the Community Trust of Southland and Invercargill Licensing Trust and the sale of the buildings two of the clubs already occupy.

Although no concept plans were presented, Scarlett said she could provide a breakdown of costings for the plans to councillors after the meeting.

Scarlett said the buildings could be used for a range of groups and would work in with the Scottish Hall. It would also have special acoustics for the musicians.

City councillor Karen Arnold asked whether, if the council were to acquire a stadium with several rooms, it could be a possible hub for music groups from throughout the district, but the suggestion was quickly shot down by a member of one of the groups, who said the acoustics were not good enough.

No recommendation was put forward to the council.

 

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