Museum project may get kick-start
2 February 2015
Around $1.5 million has been set aside by Waipa District Council to kick-start a new museum for Te Awamutu.
The musuem proposal is outlined in the council's draft 10-Year Plan which will be formally released to the public for comment in early March. The draft plan outlines a range of core service projects plus a small number of community proposals including the museum, a refurbished pool for Cambridge and a new cycleway from Te Awamutu to Kihikihi.
Mayor Jim Mylchreest said the council considered not including the museum project in its 10-Year Plan budget but believes the project is important and must be given a good chance to get off the ground.
But it needs community support, he said. The council is hoping additional money for the museum project - potentially up to $4 - $5 million - may come from fundraising and other external sources.
Those are rough order numbers based on average building costs only and perhaps the final cost may be far less. It will depend on the final design so I don't think we should be locking the community or the council into any hard and fast plan or financial commitment at this early stage. We need to know what other funding sources might be out there before going too far down the track, he said.
We'll be encouraging a well organised and professional fund-raising group to be formed and will work closely with that group to identify and tap into as many external funding sources as possible.
Mr Mylchreest said Waipa and Te Awamutu have a rich history and heritage that was worth show-casing.
A new museum will help create other opportunities for the district and alongside the new library and the existing Events Centre, will act as an anchoring point for Te Awamutu. The town is growing quickly and has a bright future and we have to capitalise on that.
The proposed museum will be part of Te Awamutu's long-planned community hub based on councilowned land opposite the Events Centre. The hub will include the new Te Awamutu library which is due to open late this year.
It's a fantastic location and over time, Te Awamutu's community hub has the potential to include the library, potentially the museum and retail and commercial facilities which link strongly into the central business district, Mr Mylchreest said.
While our focus for the 10-Year Plan is on core services, we do think it's an idea that's worth pursuing. Like everything else it the draft 10-Year Plan it's up for grabs and whether or not the money stays in the budget will largely depend on what sort of response we get from the community.
All media enquiries, contact Jeanette Tyrrell (on behalf of council) 027 507 7599