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Redevelopment Gets Government Funding Boost

For immediate release
Friday 2 June 2006

ASB Showgrounds Redevelopment Gets Government Funding Boost

The redevelopment of the ASB Showgrounds today received a welcome funding boost, with a $4.7 million Government grant to assist with stage two of the project.

Announced today by Prime Minister Helen Clark during a visit to the Showgrounds, the grant is earmarked for the construction of a new exhibition hall which will double the facility’s exhibition space.

The Government joins existing cornerstone funders ASB, ASB Trust and Auckland City Council in helping to drive the Showground’s transformation into a world-class, multi-dimensional facility, capable of attracting some of the world’s leading shows, events, and exhibitions.

Due for completion in July, stage one includes the construction of a new hub, including food courts, functions rooms, a wine bar, entry and registration areas, and extensions to two exhibition halls.

ASB Showgrounds Chief Executive Officer, Mark Frankham, said the Government grant would allow for the commencement and completion of stage two, which will see exhibition space increase 50 percent to a total of 18,000m2.

“We are delighted to have secured such a significant funding contribution. It allows us to roll straight into the second stage of redevelopment and stay on track to complete the full transformation by early 2007.”

Mr Frankham thanked the Government for its support in helping to transform the ASB Showgrounds into a world-class facility.

“We are very fortunate to have the financial support of central Government, along with that of our other cornerstone funders, naming rights partner ASB, ASB Trust and Auckland City Council.

“The ASB Showgrounds is a significant asset for Auckland and New Zealand, catering to a diverse cross section of community, ethnic and commerical groups. In 2005, it hosted more than 140 exhibitions and shows and attracting more than 1.2 million people every year.

“This redevelopment will enable the ASB Showgrounds to retain its position as New Zealand’s premier exhibition centre, compete with other leading venues on the world stage, and attract world-class international exhibitions, shows and events.

“It will also deliver significant economic benefits to Auckland and beyond, by increasing the number of local and international exhibitors and visitors attending events at the Showgrounds.”

By 2010, the new ASB Showgrounds is expected to contribute $110 million per annum to the Auckland region, almost double the contribution from existing facilities.

Support for the redevelopment comes from numerous parties including Cornwall Park Trust, DMG – Australasia’s largest trade show organisers, the Auckland Regional Council, the Employers and Manufacturing Association, Chamber of Commerce, Regional Councils and numerous ethnic and community users. The total cost for the project is $26 million.

The Government grant is being made available through its Significant Community Based Projects Fund, announced in the 2005 budget to address funding issues faced by a growing number of large and important community projects. The Fund is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs.

ENDS

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