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More funding for regional cultural amenities

Ministers’ release: 4 April 2017

Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry says applications for the third round of the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund (RCHF) are now open.

“The Fund was established to ensure people in regional areas have greater access to a range of enjoyable cultural experiences in quality venues. I’m committed to as many communities as possible having access to this multi-million dollar fund,” Ms Barry says.

“Round one saw $13.8 million dollars go to regional venues such as $10 million to the Sarjeant Gallery in Whanganui and $110,000 towards Gore’s Eastern Southland Gallery project to establish a Muka Studio Wing for its arts centre.”

“Applications for the second round of funding closed last month and the successful venues will be announced by mid-June.”

The fund is for regional cultural institutions, including performing arts venues, opera houses, art galleries, museums and whare taonga.

“Local and international tourists seek out heritage buildings. By offering distinctive cultural experiences in these buildings regions can help drive economic benefits for their communities,” Ms Barry says.

“Applications for new building projects, renovations and additions to these important institutions and venues in our communities will be considered in this third round.”  

The RCHF is a contestable fund of last resort - to qualify applicants are required to show they have already secured funding from local government and community sources.

Round Three closes at 5pm on Friday 28 April with decisions made by mid-June.

Round one recipients:

  • $10 million to Wanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery - tagged towards the redevelopment and seismic strengthening of its heritage-listed Queen’s Park building;
  • $400,000 to the Whanganui Museum for its redevelopment;
  • $368,000 towards Hamilton’s Meteor Theatre redevelopment;
  • $1.5 million towards the restoration of the Nelson School of Music’s auditorium;
  • $1.5 million towards Whakatane’s Museum and Research Centre redevelopment;
  • $110,000 towards Gore’s Eastern Southland Gallery project to establish a Muka Studio Wing for its arts centre.

More information on the criteria and application process can be found at:

Published on 4th April 2017