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Thrilled: Lakes District Museum boss David Clarke's over the moon with this mornings government funding announcement

By TRACEY ROXBURGH

The government’s come to the party to help save Arrowtown’s Lakes District Museum.

Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced $2 million, from a $3 billion pot set aside in Budget for infrastructure, will be heading to the museum for its $3.5m seismic-strengthening and restoration project.

The project was to have started in February, funding dependent, but this morning’s announcement means it can get underway in October, subject to building consent.

Museum boss David Clarke says it’s a “fantastic day for the museum, but also a fantastic result for the district”.

“The museum has been operating for 72 years and is one of the cultural gems of the Queenstown Lakes community.”

He’s grateful to everyone who has helped out behind the scenes to get the project off the ground.

“It has been heartening to have the support of the community and to know that we have so many people willing to help us out.”

Along with the strengthening work, focused on the former Bank of New Zealand building and stables which houses the museum, the building will be restored, and museum displays will be upgraded.

Last month City Hall agreed to provide $1.04m, excluding GST, to be loan-funded, to the project.

tracey.roxburgh@scene.co.nz