Update on the Soldiers Block
The Hurunui District Council is continuing to develop a business case for the refurbishment of the Soldiers Block into a multi-use facility.
At last week’s Council Meeting, the next steps for a proposed Soldiers Block project were approved, mainly refining the financial modelling.
The next round of financial modelling will focus on demand projections, operating costs and whether a staged development would be preferred. The cost of the modelling will be met within existing budgets.
The Soldiers Block proposal mentioned is a six-in-one idea consistent with wellness and return on investment. The ‘multi-uses’ within the proposal include a commercial and creative shared hub, a community space for hire, a war experience and café, a function space with a commercial kitchen, a movie theatre and temporary workers accommodation with a managers flat.
The council is aiming for a project that strikes the right balance between economic return and community use, which does not create a financial burden on the districts ratepayers.
Chief Strategy and Community Officer Judith Batchelor explained current progress in exploring financial options. “The Council has been exploring a range of options to fund the capital development of the project, including Infrastructure Shovel Ready Funding, Provincial Growth Funding and Lotteries Commission Funding,” she said.
“From discussions with funding agencies, it has been made clear that projects that are shovel ready are being given priority. To get shovel ready, this project needs to refine the financial modelling, confirm the layout and secure community or council funding for the non-grant portion of the development costs.”