FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who is driving this project?
During 2016-17 the Clutha District Council undertook a consultation process to contribute to the “Our Place Balclutha” Community Plan, where turning the Balclutha War Memorial Hall into a rejuvenated community hub ranked the second-highest priority for the community (the first being the entrances to the Balclutha bridge).
A steering committee was formed by the council from the local community after a request of interest, and subsequently, a Charitable Trust was formed by the Committee to progress the project to the business case and represent the community as a legal entity.
The facility will no longer be owned and operated by the Clutha District Council, instead, the Clutha Community Hub Charitable Trust on behalf of the community will have ownership, governance and management of the facility. Therefore, it is vitally important that the facility is financially sustainable long term, to not only keep it affordable for the local community, but to allow it to evolve as the needs of the community do.
We want to see the facility stay relevant and provide for the community for the next 60 years...
How does this benefit the Clutha District?
We recognise there are a number of projects within the district in recent times that have funded a significant amount within the immediate communities, this projects aim is to amplify the investment through showcasing the district as a whole, a central point to promote the value of all townships within the district and their own unique histories and achievements, to promote the Clutha District as a great place to work, live and experience, a place to invest in.
Calder Stewart are our locally appointed design and build partner.
The Trust has appointed OCTA Associates as our Project Management and Engineer to the Contract who will represent us and manage the detailed design and construction stages of the project.
How much will this project cost? How is this being paid for?
The feasibility process indicated a cost of $20 million for a new build based on the conceptual plans.
The consideration around this facility was its longevity, its ability to attract and retain tourists and professional acts, its ability to fill gaps in the modern commercial environment, its ability to stimulate like investment in the district, and ultimately its ability to deliver on what was requested through the community consultation process, all of which these were a part of.
The required footprint to encompass the end goal is approximately 3000 sqm which is a sizable build, we wanted to ensure that when the facility is delivered to the community was not only fit for purpose but to a standard that would see it minimising the financial impact to the community over the lifetime of the facility.
The Trust are awaiting the final project cost once certain design decisions have been finalised, this will be released once available.
The project is nearing completion of the detailed design, including architectural and interior design finishes, structural and foundation designs, heating, fire, electrical and plumbing fitouts, landscaping and civil works. Once these details are finalised the final cost of construction can be completed.
The Trust are investigating a number of funding options for this project including a mixture of local council funding, central government funding and third party funding sources such as philanthropic trusts and foundations, corporate sponsorship, public donations and fundraising.
The Trust has secured $14.9 million in funding to advance the construction of the facility targeting a $15 million capital cost. Part of this was a Clutha District Council contribution, where through the annual planning consultation process with ratepayers it agreed to fund 50% up to $7.5 million. Should the final figure come in over to achieve the best solution for the community, this will be sourced by the Trust through a variety of funding options and will not have a further impact to the districts rates.
The Clutha Community Hub Charitable Trust successfully secured $7.4 million of central government funding via Crown Infrastructure Partners as part of the call for shovel ready projects. This central government funding was pivotal in the enabling of the continuation of this project.
The combination of Calder Stewart being engaged as design and construction partner, leveraging local construction and associated trades resources and the ongoing jobs created via engagement with the new services the facility will provide it is projected there will be ~150 jobs created directly and indirectly via the Hub, and millions of dollars of associated revenue to the district which is pivotal to supporting the local economy at this time.
You’re intending to remove the existing building?
The existing building is currently sitting on 30% NBS and requires a significant investment just to bring it to code. The expected cost of this is approximately a quarter of a new build with no perceivable difference seen after the investment, no additional ability to meet any of the objectives of the community feedback, and no ability to generate new revenue meaning the costs going forward would directly impact the community.
We do however recognise the significant community investment and importance of the current building and will be looking to reflect that within the new facility. We will be looking at options to reuse existing areas of importance through the design process.
What about the existing groups using the hall and tenants?
We sought feedback and held meetings with the existing stakeholders including tenants and core user groups. At this point in time we have a forward plan for all parties involved. We will continue to work in partnership with these groups during the next phases.
If you would like to engage with us as a community group or business please contact us through the contact page.
How long and when?
We are currently preparing material for a registration of interest and will be working through the final design process soon.
Current projections indicate the facility being available end of 2021 / early 2022.
Further information can be obtained via the business case linked below, for the latest information please feel free to contact us directly as the project is quickly evolving.