Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

CM’s major heritage projects seek funding

A crowd gathers for a Bread & Circus buskers performance at the Arts Centre. Chris Skelton/Stuff.

Michael Hayward, Major heritage projects at Arts Centre and Canterbury Museum seeking funding, Stuff, 1 February 2020

The Crown’s Christchurch earthquake recovery funding will not be made available for heritage building repairs as the Government moves toward “a normalised relationship” with the city.

Both the Arts Centre of Christchurch and Canterbury Museum have gone to the Crown for extra funding for their restoration or redevelopment projects.

They are still able to apply for funding from national pools of money on offer through the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, but will not be given money from funds earmarked for Christchurch regeneration projects.

Frank Film checks in on the mammoth Arts Centre of Christchurch restoration project – the largest of its type in the world – view video

The Crown’s Christchurch earthquake recovery funding will not be made available for heritage building repairs as the Government moves toward “a normalised relationship” with the city.

Both the Arts Centre of Christchurch and Canterbury Museum have gone to the Crown for extra funding for their restoration or redevelopment projects.

They are still able to apply for funding from national pools of money on offer through the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, but will not be given money from funds earmarked for Christchurch regeneration projects.

Projects the Government has already committed to funding, such as the Christ Church Cathedral, will still receive that money.

The Arts Centre of Christchurch needs to find $32m to finish restoring its complex of Category 1 heritage buildings.

The Arts Centre needs to raise another $32 million to complete its $255m restoration of the 21 Category 1 heritage buildings in the central city complex. The project is more than two-thirds complete.

The complex opened in 1877 and was once home to the University of Canterbury. It is now home to a mix of galleries, stores, food outlets and a cinema, and regularly hosts events.

Chief executive Philip Aldridge said no specific amount had been sought from the Government, nor officially declined, and they had never expected any money from the Crown’s regeneration funding.

Arts Centre chief executive Philip Aldridge says if funding is not found, the unrestored engineering buildings at the centre of the site on Worcester Blvd will have to be mothballed.

He said if the funding shortfall was not found, the unrestored engineering buildings at the centre of the Worcester Blvd site would have to be mothballed as they needed to be seismically strengthened.

A $29m boutique hotel will open in 2022 while fundraising for the adjacent observatory tower has almost reached its target.

Restored and reoccupied buildings include the old Boys’ High, clock tower, Rutherford’s Den, Great Hall, registry, old library, common room, old gym, workshop, library, classics and chemistry buildings.

The Arts Centre restoration is more than two-thirds complete. Chris Skelton/Stuff.

Christchurch City Council citizens and community general manager Mary Richardson said the Arts Centre would brief the council on its restoration work next month, and council funding options would be considered in annual plan and long-term plan discussions.

THE MUSEUM

Since 2009, Canterbury Museum has planned a major redevelopment that will earthquake-proof its Category 1 building from 1870. Its plans, originally expected to cost $68.7m, were disrupted by the quakes.

The Arts Centre restoration is expected to cost $255 million. Chris Skelton/Stuff.

The museum’s annual plan said it forecast funding of $72.3m from the Crown, $62.2m from Canterbury councils, and $60.7m from fundraising.

Director Anthony Wright said the museum had well over half of the $195m it needed for the project, and was currently developing a business case to seek funding from central Government.

He said the museum’s buildings had long been a major concern, and were unfit for a modern museum caring for objects of national and international significance, “not least because they are a major source of damage to the collections they are meant to protect”.

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Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2020
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