Donors, ratepayers and govt to split theatre costs
The cost of a new Waikato theatre is planned to be split between councils, community and central government.
The proposed venue, revealed on Tuesday, has been designed for the former Hamilton Hotel site in Victoria Street. It would also house an art gallery and possibly a boutique hotel overlooking the river.
The $73 million facility would seat around 1100 people, a similar number to the now-defunct Founders Theatre, but also have less formal performance spaces.
The theatre build budget is just under $73m - around 20 per cent of that is contingencies.
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Momentum Waikato is setting a $70m fundraising target, chair Leonard Gardner said at Thursday's meeting.
The proposal is that local councils contribute $30m, the community and Momentum Waikato put in $30m, and $10m comes from central government.
"We need the Hamilton City Council to commit to this project to help us to do this," Gardner said.
Momentum plans to take the theatre plans so far to Waikato people and councils with a roadshow, Gardner said.
And, according to his report, some families and businesses are already considering donating several thousand to the project.
For now, Momentum would like Hamilton City Council to put $250,000 - half the cost -into the theatre's concept design, Gardner said.
Once it's built, responsibility for it and its operations would stay out of the political arena.
The building owner would be the future Waikato Regional Property Trust, which would also be responsible for maintaining the theatre, a report from Gardner said.
Day-to-day operations would be the domain of the Waikato Regional Theatre Operating Company.
Councils would be asked to collectively provide about $1.4m a year for the Waikato Regional Property Trust to do maintenance and any replacements required.
About $1.1m of that would be expected to come from Hamilton City Council, Gardner said.
If the theatre gets the go-ahead in December 2017, it could be open by July 2021.