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New Brighton’s first Major Building Project underway

Media Release – 21st July 2014

New Brighton’s first Major Building Project underway

– and it’s for the community!!

A $2.3 million building project has begun on the renovation of a Youth & Community Centre in New Brighton – the first major building money to be spent in New Brighton! The Grace Vineyard Beach Campus Building is being extensively renovated to incorporate a multi purpose Youth Gym, Youth Lounge, Crèche and outdoor play area, Music Room, Budget Advice Centre, new toilets, Agency Offices, storage and a new foyer. It has only been made possible because of $1.75 million of funding through major grants from the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust, New Zealand Lottery Grants Board, Christchurch City Council, a Department of Corrections Art Auction and a $450,000 grant from the latest funder to come on board, The Lion Foundation.

The Lion Foundation’s Christchurch based Trustee and Southern Regional Grants committee member, Sarah Smith visited the centre and was impressed by the range of services offered to the New Brighton community, especially the variety of support provided to young people through the many programmes offered. “The building played an important role in the community during the earthquakes so the request to help fund this much needed redevelopment to meet the community’s current needs was an obvious use of the special funds the Lion Foundation has pledged to Christchurch” she said.

The youth workers have already been moved to their new upstairs offices - which has a hint of lime green paint and magnetic walls! The old foyer has been demolished, and the foundations are just being laid in preparation for the large steel beams that will structurally tie the original two buildings together to the new building standards. The Council has granted a Public Use Certificate to allow parts of the building to be used for the many community programmes hosted there, while the building work continues. The building works are expected to be finished by early 2015.

The building is an old, leaky and run-down Dollarwise Supermarket. It has been a community hub for over 20 years, but needed extensive work for it to continue serving its community. Fundraising is still ongoing, to meet the estimated $500,000 shortfall. “We are still interested in talking to individuals, trusts and businesses who are keen to be a part of this legacy project for young people and families on the eastern suburbs” says James Ridpath, Youth Alive Trust Manager. “We’re not building a palace for people to admire - it’s a supermarket of social services that will serve thousands of people in this generation and the generations to come. But we still need help to get there!”

Poto Willams, Christchurch East MP is excited to see money being spent in New Brighton. She said “It's great news for locals who haven't seen a lot of development work in the area in recent years and it's being rebuilt for us to use. It's positive and it's progress!”

Attached:

• Youth & Community Centre Proposal Document
Youth__Community_Centre_Proposal__June_2014.pdf

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