Work to strengthen and develop the historic Municipal Building has been given a significant boost with the Lottery Grants Board announcing it will contribute $4.75 million towards the project.
The sum is the result of successful applications by Hastings District Council to two Lottery funds: the Significant Project fund, which awarded $4m and the Environment and Heritage fund, which granted $750,000.
The Environment and Heritage funding has been allocated towards the cost of earthquake strengthening the Category 1 heritage building.
A seismic assessment in March 2014 found that the building had a seismic capacity of less than 34 per cent of current code requirements, as such classified as earthquake prone.
Subsequent significant public consultation identified that the community wanted to restore and retain the building and with this funding the seismic strengthening will be undertaken, preserving as many heritage features as possible.
The Significant Project funding of $4 million has been allocated towards the Municipal Building redevelopment as a whole.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the council was delighted to receive this support from the Lottery Grants Board.
“This funding is not only significant for the project development as a whole, it’s also recognition of the many hours of work that council officers put in to creating this successful application.
“The Hawke’s Bay Opera House Arts Precinct will be the centrepiece of the region’s cultural landscape, and the Municipal Building is a key component of this overall project.
“We can’t wait to start showing our community through both the Opera House and the Plaza later in the year, before the official opening early next year.”
The council recently adopted a strategic plan for the Hawke’s Bay Opera House that sets out a roadmap for how the development will achieve the community’s aspirations for the precinct.
More details on progress to date towards this vision, and some exciting new developments, will be shared with the community soon.