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$12 million government support for Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment - council

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

An additional $12 million has been allocated to Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment project from a Government infrastructure fund created in response to COVID-19.

Whanganui District Council Mayor, Hamish McDouall says, "This news, shared today by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, was an exciting inclusion in a day of real positives for Whanganui."

The funding announcement, delivered at the site of the Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment, shows the Government recognises the economic value in the redevelopment project, which will see $15.4 million going directly to Whanganui contractors, says Mayor McDouall.

"The redevelopment project team was delighted the Minister made a visit to the redevelopment site at Pukenamu Queen’s Park in order to make the announcement before heading out to the port.

"At the site Minister Jones was able to view the excavation, meet the archaeologist Michael Taylor of Archaeology North and the iwi observers and get a first-hand look at the excellent progress on-site."

Mayor McDouall says, "Once the redevelopment is complete, it’s estimated the Gallery will attract around 22,000 additional visitors to the district per year, generating around $11.4 million in additional regional spending.

"Whanganui District Council has released an investment assessment report today which outlines these figures and demonstrates the significant benefits the redevelopment of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua will generate for Whanganui and New Zealand."

He says the report draws upon on an Economic Impact Assessment undertaken for Whanganui District Council in February 2019, and the experiences of other New Zealand galleries as a comparison.

"These assumptions and statistics represent a pre-COVID scenario, but show how the Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment project will be a significant driver in the vital area of domestic tourism options for Whanganui."

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