Arts Centre faces $50m shortfall

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 05:00 03/11/2012
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A major restoration project at the Christchurch Arts Centre will face a $50 million shortfall after settling its insurance claims.

An ambitious restoration and strengthening programme for the historic Gothic Revival buildings is under way. Most of the project will be covered by a $156m insurance payout after the centre settled its February 2011 quake claim with Anzvar, now called ACS, in August.

Arts Centre chief executive Andre Lovatt said he hoped to settle the claim with Lumley for the student union and the registry building additions by the end of the year.

So far, $14m had been secured through donations, including major contributions from the Aotearoa Foundation, Fletcher Construction and the Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Buildings Fund.

There would still be a major shortfall between the funds available and the total cost of the project even after the Lumley claim was settled, Lovatt said. A strategy was being put in place to address this, including an international fundraising campaign, but about $50m had yet to be accounted for, he said.

Some options included investing some of the fund, further donations and driving revenue through a progressive reopening of the centre.

Lovatt said if full cover had not been secured after the September 2010 quake under former director Ken Franklin, the payout from the February 2011 damage would have been closer to $20m, he said.

Most restoration would be completed within five years.

Meet the new Arts Centre chief executive: Your Weekend.

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