A university campus planned for downtown Tauranga is one step closer after Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust announced its donation of $15 million in funding.
The campus is proposed by the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Partnership (TTP), made up of four tertiary institutions - Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, Waiariki Institute of Technology and University of Waikato.
The trust's funding joins the $15 million promised by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council through its Regional Infrastructure Fund, the donation of Durham St carpark land from Tauranga City Council, and financial support from the TTP.
The estimated cost of the project is $67.1 million.
The Regional Infrastructure Fund is providing up to $15 million towards the construction of stage one of a purpose-built campus by 2016, and stage two would see a second building by 2022.
The campus is aimed at attracting more young people, particularly Maori, into tertiary education, and 8000 tertiary students are expected to study in the Bay of Plenty over a 17-year period.
The release of funding from all the parties will be subject to a number of conditions designed to maximise the project's benefit to the city and wider region.
Bay of Plenty Regional councillor John Cronin said it was "terrific to see further investment being made into the project, which was a real game changer for the region".
"Attracting and retaining young people to the Bay of Plenty is crucial to develop employment, education, and business opportunities here."
Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust chairman Michael Cooney said: "There is plenty of work still to do but this is exciting progress."
Tauranga MP Simon Bridges said the funding announcement was great news for the city.
"This campus is going to generate significant economic, social and cultural benefits for our city and the wider region."
It's hoped that over its two stages of construction, the campus would provide about 427 construction jobs and 272 tertiary operations jobs and mean more than $49 million in direct construction expenditures.
Downtown campus facts
A $67.1 million campus expected to open in 2016.
The Tertiary Partnership (TTP) group includes:
*Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.
*Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi.
*Waiariki Institute of Technology.
*University of Waikato.
*Donated land in Durham St worth more than $3 million.
*$24.5 million from TTP.
*Up to $15 million from regional council.
*$15 million from TECT
*$12.6 million loan for the final stage