Interest is so strong in the planned Napier War Memorial Conference Centre redevelopment that confirmed bookings mean two-thirds of the facility's forecast revenue next year is ensured.
At yesterday's Napier City Council meeting, councillors approved additional funding for earthquake strengthening costs so the redevelopment could go ahead as scheduled.
This is on top of funding already set aside for design enhancements to the facility. Yesterday they voted to increase the budget to $7.1 million. The increase would be covered by a loan.
Chief executive Wayne Jack said earthquake strengthening was an essential part of the redevelopment and if the centre was to honour bookings for February 2017 onwards, the sooner the work started, the better.
The redevelopment was originally scheduled to begin in 2023 but was brought forward after it was discovered last year that the building required earthquake strengthening. Demolition and a full rebuild was not an option as it would cost an estimated $20 million. The War Memorial feature will be relocated to Memorial Square, with the blessing of the Napier and Taradale Returned Services associations.
Staff will continue to be employed during the period of closure and will continue to take bookings.
Also at yesterday's meeting, councillors adopted the Consultation Document for the 2016/17 Annual Plan.
The proposed redevelopment of Anderson Park is one of four consultation topics in it.
The other topics are the Sustainable Capital Programme, the Old Embankment Road Bridge, and the Taradale Stormwater Upgrade. The document also contains brief updates on current works, and an overview of the impact of these issues on rates, debt and levels of service.
People can submit online from April 11 or wait for the documents to be distributed.