Kāpiti Coast District Council has welcomed new funding totalling $1.4 million for two Ōtaki projects through the Government's Provincial Growth Fund, an investment that will create new jobs and revitalise two well-used facilities.
The Māoriland Charitable Trust has received a $900,000 grant to upgrade the Māoriland Hub building to house the Centre for Māori and Indigenous Film and Creative Excellence, and council has been awarded $500,000 towards the refurbishment of its Ōtaki Civic Theatre.
"The Ōtaki Civic Theatre is a much-loved community asset that hosts a range of events including the Māoriland Film Festival, musicals, concerts and school productions," acting place and space group manager Darryn Grant said.
"As part of a wider review of the condition of council's property portfolio earlier this year, we identified that the theatre requires a significant refurbishment to address a number of pressing issues related to the condition of the building.
"Without this funding, we wouldn't have been able to progress this work as quickly as we can now."
The refurbishment works, which will begin in October and take six months to complete, include replacing the roof, upgraded toilets, partially rebuilding the stage, replacing damaged seating and flooring, and repairing the exterior of the building and gutters.
As a condition of the grant, council will commit an additional $351,000 to meet the total refurbishment cost.
Council will work closely with stakeholders to schedule the works in a way that allows planned shows and events to continue.
"This investment will create between 50 and 70 jobs over the next six months which is a much-needed injection of work directly into the Ōtaki community, with opportunities for local workforce development," Ōtaki ward councillor James Cootes said.
"This is a real boost for Ōtaki, especially as the evolving impacts of Covid-19 are starting to be felt in the community.
"I'm delighted that Government has seen the value in investing in these two projects and in supporting the growth and vibrancy of Ōtaki.
"This wouldn't have been possible without the fantastic work from the staff at council to first get accepted into the Provincial Growth Fund and then put forward quality applications to receive funding like this."