Pleas to retain Pallet Pavilion longer

The Pallet Pavilion on the Durham, Kilmore corner proved popular - now some want to keep it longer.
The Pallet Pavilion on the Durham, Kilmore corner proved popular - now some want to keep it longer.

It had been meant to come down this month, but Christchurch's popular Pallet Pavilion could remain.

The Gap Filler initiative, an outdoor venue built using more than 3000 recycled wooden pallets on the site of the former Crowne Plaza Hotel, was scheduled to close at the end of the month.

However, the project's success led to calls for it to remain for another summer. The pavilion has hosted buskers festival acts, concerts and community events since opening in mid-December.

Gap Filler founder Coralie Winn said feedback had been positive.

"Across March we've had so many people asking us why we're planning to take it down. It feels like there's quite a bit of interest for it to stay."

Funds would be needed to keep the pavilion operating, Winn said.

The land and pallets incurred no charge, but operating costs were beyond the charity's means.

"It's a really hard decision for Gap Filler because we can see the amazing good it's doing . . . but we also see that as a little organisation it's impossible for us to retain it."

The pavilion "really got into its rhythm" after the buskers festival in January, Winn said. "It does feel too soon to take to away and it has been an amazing summer."

The community would be asked to decide its fate before any fundraising campaign, she said.

"If enough people are saying to us it should stay, then I think we have to honour that and explore that. We do these experiments and say, ‘Did it work, did it not work?' In this case, it has worked."

The project had attracted international media attention and helped develop the city's transitional architecture tourist route that included bars Smash Palace and Revival, the Re:Start container mall and the Anglican cardboard cathedral, Winn said.

The Press