Sunday, March 3, 2024

Omakau Hub project on a $1.2 million mission

The working group behind the Omakau Hub is on a mission to raise the last $1.2 million towards establishing the $5.2 million facility in the next year.

In a report to the Central Otago District Council, Property Officer, Tara Bates, gave an update on how the project was progressing, with input from the Manuherekia Valleys Community Trust (MVCT) chair, Andrew Paterson.

Consulted on in the Long-term Plan 2021/31, the MVCT was granted $1 million by Council towards building a community hub to replace the existing rugby club rooms and Omakau hall and establish several community organisations and sporting groups within the hub.

The Trust has so far raised $1.7 million and has indicative support from external funders such as Central Lakes Trust, Otago Community Trust and Lottery Grants Board for about $2.3 million.

However, the Trust would still need to raise about $1.2 million in the next year or so, based on the building quotes gathered so far.

The Hub Project ‘thermometer’ with the aspirational target of $5.2 million needed to build the facility.

“These are pretty big dollars to find, but there is a real need,” said Mr Paterson.

He said the last funding push of between $500,000 and $1,000,000 would come through fundraising projects and sponsorship and naming rights.

The Trust was still working towards refining the design to reduce costs and developing a funding strategy, with the aim of starting construction in the first quarter of 2025. It would continue to proceed with funding applications to external funders and report back to the Vincent Community Board with a funding strategy for approval, Council said.

Mayor, Tim Cadogan congratulated Mr Paterson and the Trust for taking on such a big project.

At its November 2023 Council meeting, the reserve management plan for four Omakau/Ophir reserves, including the reserve that the hub will be established on, was adopted.

Council Parks Officer, Maria Burnett said that having a reserve management plan provided certainty around decision-making for the four reserves (Omākau Recreation Reserve, Wilson Street Reserve, Ophir Recreation Reserve and Ophir Ice Rink Reserve).

A crucial outcome from the public consultation meant that the Omakau Community Hub could be established on the reserve, the Council said.

The management plan allows for the existing rugby clubrooms and camp kitchen to be decommissioned, with the clubrooms to be housed in the new hub, and a new camping ground kitchen to be constructed next to the existing ablution blocks.

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