Arrowtown facility ‘within cooee’


A new community facility for Arrowtown is on its way.

The Lotteries Grants Board has approved a $400,000 grant, turning a near 10-year dream into reality.

Arrowtown Community Sports Facility Trust chairman Murray Bennett says the grant takes the total raised to about $1.8 million – “within cooee” of the $2.05m total.

That means the trust can push on with construction drawings and apply for consent for the new building, which will be used by a variety of sports and community groups in the village, including the Arrowtown Rugby Club.

The club’s former clubrooms, originally part of the former Arrowtown Camping Ground, were demolished earlier this year, leaving the premier team without a base for the next season.

A planned upgrade of Jack Reid Park includes levelling the rugby field, which will be moved slightly, new floodlights, drainage and irrigation, a new car park and a new access road.

Club president Simon Spark says the upgrade is contingent on the remainder of the money being found.

There are still some funding agencies the trust can apply to and Bennett says he’s “more than confident” those applications will be successful.

However, the focus is on the building.

Spark, who has been involved in the project since its inception, says the club’s stoked to have funding for the building at least.

“It’s been a long, hard road, but we’ve got something the community can be proud of … it’s a pretty happy day.

“The funders have recognised that it’s needed and it’s truly a community facility that the town will benefit from.”

Regardless of whether the work on the rugby field goes ahead next year, the Arrowtown rugby team’s home base will shift to the Queenstown Events Centre oval, before moving back to Jack Reid Park for the 2017 season.

“This is home,” Spark says.

Bennett says construction might start as soon as April and be finished by December.

By the time the building is complete it will have been 10 years since investigations first began into the project.

Bennett: “It’s exciting for Simon - it’s Simon’s pet project, I just came along for the ride.

“It’s been a long road for him and for everyone else involved but we’re there … or we’re there within cooee.

“Like a good wine, it takes time. And then it goes all vinegary. [But] it won’t go vinegary now. We’ve got it.”

Otago Daily Times