Whanganui's Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment project has scored $12 million of Government funding to help with the escalating costs of the work.
The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) allocation, announced today by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, follows funding of $12 million last year for the project.
"Whanganui District Council will use the funding to support the increased cost of redeveloping the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui," Jones said.
"The gallery and its collection are nationally significant. It is part of the vibrant creative community in Whanganui, and the wider cultural hub in the region.
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"Educational opportunities will also be provided for those considering a career in the galleries, libraries, archives and museums sector, and local iwi will be assisted or trained in the preservation of heritage art."
The $12 million from the PGF allocated in September 2019 was towards the construction of a new wing for the Category 1 listed heritage building.
The gallery's refurbishment began in May after several years of fundraising for the project, including hundreds of individual donations and contributions from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Department of Internal Affairs and Whanganui District Council.
"The significance of this project to communities all over New Zealand is evident from the degree of public and financial support it has received locally and nationally," Jones said.
"This funding will enable the Sarjeant Gallery to undergo a specialist redevelopment, and preserve taonga on behalf of iwi and for future generations to come."
The cost to restore and earthquake-strengthen the nationally significant building has increased from earlier estimates, due in part to work having to be completed sequentially, rather than concurrently as originally estimated.
Other costs relate to heating, ventilation and climate control associated with the safe storage of taonga and other art work, exterior cladding and an increased contingency allowance.