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Curtains up on stage one

Curtains up on stage one

Mayor of Auckland City Dick Hubbard today officially opened the first stage of the $26 million redevelopment of the ASB Showgrounds.

The Mayor said the completion of stage one would improve the capacity to meet growing exhibition needs and create a world-class environment for events.

“Today is an historic day for Auckland because it marks the opening of something that is going to transform Auckland city’s ability to attract some of the world’s leading shows, events and exhibitions,” Mr Hubbard said.

At a time when local, regional and national demands for events are increasing, the development will make a valuable contribution by growing the number of local and international exhibitors and visitors attending events, and by delivering significant economic benefits to Auckland and New Zealand.

“As the country’s premier exhibition facility, ASB Showgrounds will bring enormous social and economic benefits in terms of attracting major events for the New Zealand public and tourists. The ASB Showgrounds will become a great asset to the region – building on a sense of community, providing economic activity and jobs and catering for a diverse cross section of Auckland's commercial, ethnic and community groupings,” Mr Hubbard said.

The Mayor said Auckland City’s support of the ASB Showgrounds upgrade is an example of the council’s continued commitment to growing its contribution to the Auckland region.

“By supporting and providing $5 million in funding for the development of remarkable facilities like ASB Showgrounds, we are following through on our commitment to make Auckland a vibrant and creative international city with a soul.

“This redevelopment will enhance our ability to showcase New Zealand’s unique talent and products through exhibitions and trade shows as well as showcasing our potential to an international audience,” Mr Hubbard said.

Stage one of the project, which includes a new entrance, food courts, wine bar, function rooms and extensions to exhibition halls, was funded through a council grant with additional support from the Department of Internal Affairs, ASB Bank, ASB Charitable Trust, the Showgrounds organisation and other business and community organisations.

“This is a significant investment in becoming an events-friendly city and I would like to recognise everyone involved especially the support of ASB Bank, the ASB Charitable Trust, the Cornwall Park Trust Board and the recent funding from central government for stage two which is about to commence.”

Stage two of the redevelopment includes the construction of a new exhibition hall which will double the facility’s exhibition space and is expected to be completed early in 2007.

When work is complete, the ASB Showgrounds will be well placed to generate an estimated $110 million per year for the Auckland economy by 2010.


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