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Creative pulses quicken with Aotea Quarter funding


25 July 2006

Creative pulses quicken with Aotea Quarter funding

The Aotea Quarter is set to benefit from the Auckland City Council's 10-year plan adopted this month, which includes funding to advance Aotea Square, the Auckland Town Hall arts precinct, and redeveloping the front of the Aotea Centre.

These world-class projects will contribute to developing an exciting, safe, vibrant and diverse city that successfully manages sustainable growth.

Essential repairs to the civic car park and the upgrade of the square have been included as key baseline facilities. Auckland city Mayor Dick Hubbard is delighted the council has committed additional support for other projects that will make the Aotea Quarter a world-class destination for retailers, business, the arts and cultural sector and the public.

"An holistic planning approach has been taken to ensure the Aotea Quarter becomes the city's civic core, cultural heart, and arts and entertainment hub," said Mr Hubbard.

Each project chosen for additional funding will play a vital role in delivering the design principles for the quarter. The principles will create an experience that is about creativity (theatre, arts, creative sector businesses), activity (festivals and civic activity) and escape (respite and relaxation).

These design principles, a key part of best practice urban design, will filter into all the projects in the Aotea Quarter. This ensures that great urban design will contribute to making Auckland's CBD a vibrant and dynamic business and cultural centre.

"The additional funding will help take the Aotea Quarter forward. That funding, along with recent developments, such as the library's fantastic new café and the plans for the Art Gallery development, are a testament to the council's support for this important area," said Mr Hubbard.

"The long-term plan recognises the importance of developing unique quarters in the city. We know the work planned for the Aotea Quarter will bring us one step closer to realising our vision to become the First City of the Pacific," said Vern Walsh, Chairperson of the Finance and Corporate Business Committee.

Located in the Queen Street valley and bounded by Mayoral Drive, Wellesley Street, Lorne Street and Khartoum Place, the Aotea Quarter lies at the heart of Auckland's CBD. Plans for the Aotea Quarter include:

* investing an additional $24 million into Aotea Square to breathe new life into our premier civic square

* developing the town hall arts precinct to consist of office, performance and rehearsal space for arts organisations and creative businesses. The precinct will also include the New Theatre Initiative, lifestyle businesses such as cafes, and a great connection to Myers Park offering a great place to work and play

* better integrate the Aotea Centre façade with the square and to develop active edges that create interest and a better interface between buildings and their external environment. The design will also enhance the centre itself, attracting more patrons

* repairing the Civic car park roof

* developing a medium sized (350 - 450 seat) flexiform theatre in the town hall arts precinct.


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