Convention centre funding snub


Queenstown council’s bid to attract external funding for its proposed $70 million convention centre has taken another blow.  

Both Central Lakes Trust and Community Trust of Southland have turned down request for grants totalling $10m.

Six months ago the council agreed to defer progress on development of the Lakeview area – with a convention centre at its heart – until $26.7million in external capital funding was locked in.

No funding has been confirmed to date.

Council strategic projects and support manager Paul Speedy says alternative funding sources are being explored. 

But he didn’t respond to a question about the status of a funding proposal the council sent to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment more than a year ago.

Speedy told councillors last August the council would require a “level of funding certainty” by the end of June to meet key milestones.

Community Trust of Southland chief executive John Prendergast says the council approached the trust last August about a possible $4 million grant but did not proceed with a formal application when it learned the trust was not considering major grants, as it was in a capital-rebuilding phase.

Central Lakes Trust chairman Malcolm Macpherson could not be reached for comment.