Frankton’s historic marina base gets facelift at last

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Queenstown’s maritime history will be revived with restoration work on Frankton marina’s dilapidated boatshed and shipping office about to start. 

The project – starting next month with site works – was confirmed by the Wakatipu Community Maritime Preservation Society at its AGM this week. 

The society was initially set up six years ago to save the 1869-78 New Zealand Railways shipping office and a 1930s boatshed from demolition. 

The society this year secured a 33-year lease from Queenstown Lakes District Council and recently completed a $740,000 fundraising campaign. 

The latest grant of $275,000 was approved by the Lottery Grants Board’s environment and heritage committee. Other major funders are Community Trust of Southland and Central Lakes Trust, which both granted $200,000 and First Sovereign Trust, which stumped up $50,000. 

Many local businesses have also provided free consultancy or have volunteered time or materials for the venture. 

A conservation report this year highlighted the buildings’ fragile nature and the need to move quickly or risk them being lost forever. 

Once the project is completed next April, the boatshed will have two working slipways that can be accessed for boat repairs. 

The restored shipping office will document Lake Wakatipu’s maritime history. 

The society also hopes to lease it to a cafe operator to provide revenue for ongoing maintenance of the buildings and slipways. 

“The committee has worked really hard over the past six years to firstly save these buildings from demolition and then raise money for their restoration,” chairman Tony Butson says. 

“Once restored, we will give the community and future generations the opportunity to learn about local maritime heritage. 

“It will be great to see work begin on this project.”