Restoration of the Nelson School of Music’s 1901 auditorium will receive a grant of $1.5 million, Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry has announced.
“I’m delighted this local landmark and historic building, which has been closed due to earthquake risk since 2013, is the first in the country to benefit from the newly reconfigured Regional Culture and Heritage Fund,” Ms Barry says.
“Culture attracts visitors and business and makes our towns and cities places where people want to live, and the auditorium, which will now be strengthened and restored into a state-of-the-art concert venue, is no exception.
“Throughout its history, the auditorium has been central to the cultural life of the Nelson region, and its closure has been a great loss.
“I would like to pay tribute to the efforts of local MP Dr Nick Smith, who has been a persistent and persuasive advocate for the project, along with the many others who have contributed to its success.”
An important concert venue for local, national and international performers, the auditorium had previously hosted the biennial Adam Chamber Music Festival and other national events, including the New Zealand Composer’s Symposium and the Adam Summer School for chamber music.
The building was designed by Wellington-based architect Frederick de Jersey Clere, who also designed Nelson’s newly refurbished Suter Gallery, a recipient of Government funding under the old Regional Museums Policy.
“I am pleased this redevelopment will retain the building’s much-valued heritage features, preserving Clere’s vision for future generations,” Ms Barry says.
Construction on the project has just begun with completion expected in 2017.
This is the first grant announcement of several to be made from the RCHF in the coming months.
Further information about the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund can be found at: www.mch.govt.nz/RegionalCultureHeritageFund
Updated on 10th October 2016