Saturday, April 13, 2024

Investments brewing for lower South Island economy

The Government has approved a $2.9 million investment for the expansion of Scapegrace Distillery in Cromwell to meet growing national and international demand and consolidate the company’s three New Zealand productions sites into one site.

The funding is part of an ongoing strategy to diversify the Central Otago District economy beyond tourism, Regional Development Minister Kiri Allan said today.

“This investment supports our goal of supporting local businesses to do great things for local economies. The further development of the food and beverage industry in Central Otago will add to the region’s international brand reputation,” she said.

The expansion will create 218 jobs during construction and 24 permanent roles once operational.

It will also aim to reduce emissions through deploying an electrode boiler, an energy efficient way of creating process heat without the use of fossil fuels, the Minister said.

The distillery’s $2.9 million convertible loan is from the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund. The $200 million fund helps to grow regional economies by working with them to develop region specific projects.

The Government is also supporting the Central Otago film industry, with an underwrite of $4.5 million for Silverlight Studios’ project to build a film studio.

“The screen industry employs approximately 16,200 New Zealanders and contributes $3.3 billion to the economy every year, making it a key component of Central Otago’s economic diversification initiatives,” said Ms Allan.

“Silverlight Studios will provide new opportunities for local talent to be at the forefront of an evolving industry in the region.”

Tomorrow, Gore will also see the opening of the James Cumming Community Centre and Library, which received $3 million in Government support.

“In 2020, the Government made the best of challenging times and used the downturn in tourism as a chance to upgrade infrastructure. Just a couple of years later, we’re seeing the results of these investments.”

“Libraries are the touchstone of every community, and this library will serve generations of Southlanders to come,” the Minister said.

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