Funds secured for performing arts centre rebuild


4 July 2019

A group of seven funding partners have come up with the money needed to fully fund the work on the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre project.

And its been revealed the new building will have stories of Ngāti Whakaue and Te Arawa, and recognition of the legacy of Sir Howard Morrison.

Rotorua Lakes Council statement said that a total of $22.5 million has been secured for the strengthening and refurbishment of the facility, ensuring the ability to create a fit-for-purpose centre which will enable Rotorua to showcase its rich and diverse performing arts and attract shows from elsewhere.

In addition to Rotorua Lakes Council’s contribution of $11.5million, the project team has secured an additional $11.0 million in external funding.

The funding partners include:

Rotorua Lakes Council $11.5 million

Lottery Grants Board $5.2 million

Glenn Family Foundation $3.0 million

Rotorua Trust $1.5 million

NZCT  $1.0 million

Ngāti Whakaue Trusts $150,000

One Foundation $125,000

Total secured funding $22.5 million


“It’s all systems go,” Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick said in the statement. “The project team has done a fantastic job to secure the external funding support needed, so this vision can now come to fruition for our community.”

Construction will get underway in November this year and is expected to take 12 – 18 months.

“There has been a huge amount of detailed planning, consultation and funding work to get us to this point,” Council’s Arts & Culture Manager Stewart Brown says.

“The next few months will include completing the detailed construction drawings, getting the building consent and awarding the construction tender,” says Mr Brown. “With the funding target met, we’re now at a very exciting stage in the project. Once construction starts, the community will be able to see things progressing,” he says.

The approved design, led by architects Shand Shelton, will expose some of the original qualities of this category one heritage building, while introducing a contemporary feel to the interior through the use of warm wood. Spaces, facilities and services throughout the building will be optimised for performing arts. Stories of Ngāti Whakaue and Te Arawa, and recognition of the legacy of Sir Howard Morrison, will be also be featured.

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