Cultural Centre

This report was supplied as part of Connect Cromwell’s Public Interest Journalism Project

Construction work is scheduled to begin in less than a year on Cromwell’s much-anticipated new Cultural Centre.

An 11-month ‘design phase’ programme of work was approved by the Cromwell Community Board last week and an advisory group formed to guide progress.

Cr Nigel McKinlay and Community Board chairperson Anna Harrison were appointed to the Project Advisory Group to join the Central Otago District Council’s property and facilities manager, Garreth Robinson and council executive manager, planning and environment, Lousie van de Voort.

They would report to the Community Board and be part of a much larger project and technical team.

Mr Robinson outlined how the advisory group could be a sounding-board for the project and ensure the Board’s interests were met. He also presented an option for a community-based group to participate.

“It is important to take the community on the journey through the design phase. An external stakeholder group could be formed if considered necessary to provide advice and feedback to the project team,” his report stated.

The decision on whether this group is formed would be made by the new advisory group. Board chair Anna Harrison said after the meeting that the new group would get together “quite soon”. She said she could see value in having a stakeholder group as an “external voice” for the project.

Phase two of the project- construction – was set as starting from July 2022. Costings for the new facility were done as part of Cromwell’s Masterplan process. These later formed part of a consultation document for the council’s Long-Term Plan (LTP) exercise.

A 2000sqm building, a size favoured at last week’s meeting, was costed at $16M. A new museum at the site was allocated $6M and demolition, landscaping and project management a further $9.5M. These figures were approved by the CODC at the conclusion of the LTP process in early June.