Two shovel-ready projects in Stratford have got the green light with a $10 million pledge from central government today.
The two projects are amongst the seven shovel-ready infrastructure projects in Taranaki to receive funding announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today.
The Prime Minister was in the region today along with Minister for Energy and Resources Dr Megan Woods for the official launch of the national new energy centre, Ara Ake in New Plymouth.
A total of $48m will be invested in the region through the seven shovel-ready infrastructure projects, supporting jobs and the regional economy.
"Across the country we are backing shovel-ready infrastructure projects as part of our 5-point economic plan to keep New Zealand moving: by investing in people, creating jobs, preparing for the future, supporting small businesses and positioning New Zealand globally," said the Prime Minister.
"Projects like sports facilities, pools and libraries unite communities and supporting them is a win-win for regional economies and social wellbeing, as we reap the rewards of going hard and early in response to Covid-19 to get our regions and economy back open again.
"The funding announced today is part of the $3 billion infrastructure package in the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund, announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones on July 1. The fund is expected to deliver more than 20,000 jobs across New Zealand and unlock investment with a project value of more than $5 billion."
Stratford mayor Neil Volzke says he is pleased two Stratford projects have received funding.
"I'm absolutely rapt. This 'shovel ready' funding announcement is a key enabler to seeing both of these projects fully realised."
Stratford District Council will receive $10m of the $48m, with $8m going towards the new Stratford pool to be built in the town.
The funding is expected to cover about half the total cost of building the new pool, with the remainder to be funded by Stratford District Council and other grants.
"The pool development funding is a substantial contribution to the overall cost of the project and is very welcome," says Mayor Volzke.
"The benefits of a new aquatic facility in our community that caters to central Taranaki and beyond are significant."
The other $2m has been allocated to the creation of a children's cycling education park and half basketball court in the town. The funding is expected to cover the entire cost of the project with no further funding needed. The project is expected to create 11 jobs in the district.
"External funding was key to seeing the children's bike park project go ahead, and this funding will enable that vision to come to life," Mayor Volzke says.
In addition to the two Stratford projects, funding was also announced for five other Taranaki based projects today.
Yarrow Stadium is set to receive $20m for repairs and redevelopment, while $5m is going towards the new build of a multi-use Mawhitiwhiti Kanihi Pa, forming a multi-use community facility for whanau, hapu, iwi and the wider community.
The Nukumaru Station Road Extension Project will receive $7m, and $3m is going towards the new library, arts and culture centre Te Ramanui o Ruaputahanga in Hāwera.
A total of $3m will go to a renovation upgrade of the Dawson Falls Lodge, to position it as an exceptional cultural tourism destination in the National Park. This project is expected to create 32 jobs during the construction process and a further 13 direct sustainable ongoing local jobs post development. The funding should cover the total cost.