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All systems go for Marlborough Aviation Centre

18 May 2004

All systems go for Marlborough Aviation Heritage Centre

The Marlborough region is set to receive $2million from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s Regional Partnership Programme to help establish an Aviation Heritage Centre and Park, Minister of Economic, Industry and Regional Development Jim Anderton announced today.

Members of the Aviation Heritage Centre Trust flew up to Wellington airport from Marlborough in a Lockheed 12 aircraft, to meet Mr Anderton and Peter Jackson, who is a strong supporter of the Centre and has aircraft based there already.

"This major regional initiative has been approved by cabinet as a high potential economic development project. The Marlborough region will be able to attract more ‘war birds’ and other planes needing restoration to come to the Heritage Park. Restorations take 10,000 man hours and cost between $2 million and $5 million each, which is great news for the region’s economy.

“The $2 million funding will support an Aviation Heritage Centre to house and display working heritage aircraft and provide a business park and aeronautical training,” said Mr Anderton.

“The centre will be open in time for the Classic Fighters Airshow in Easter 2005, which has previously attracted around 30,000 enthusiasts from all over the world” said Mr Anderton.

The Aviation Centre and Business Park are to be owned and operated by the Marlborough Aviation Heritage Centre Trust and located on land leased adjacent to Omaka Airfield, 3kms from Blenheim.

The Lockheed 12 aircraft is the same model as the one used in the movie Casablanca. You can see and hear the plane at this website: www.classicfighters.co.nz/aircraft/lockheed12.htm

About New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is the New Zealand Government's trade and economic development agency, formed from the merger of Trade New Zealand and Industry New Zealand. Using its network of offices in New Zealand and around the world, NZTE works with businesses to help grow their international competitiveness, profitability and capability. www.nzte.govt.nz The Regional Partnership Programme The Regional Partnership Programme provides guidance and grants to help regions identify and develop sustainable growth strategies, and put them into action.

Funding of up to $100 000 per region per three years for strategic planning, up to $100 000 per 12 month period for capability building and up to $2 million for Major Regional Initiatives per three year cycle is available to help regions realise their potential.

There are 26 regional partnership groups which can apply for funding. The regional partnership groups include local authorities, economic development agencies, businesses, tertiary institutions, iwi and community organisations.

ENDS

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