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New wine centre and refreshed NMIT campus moving ahead

Tenders will be called next month for the first phase of the New Zealand Wine Centre just weeks after Government funding for the project was confirmed.

Stage one of Te Pokapū Wāina o Aotearoa will provide offices, meeting rooms and co-shared space for wine research institutions and industry to collaborate.

Marlborough Research Centre Chief Executive Gerald Hope says this first building will be complete by June next year and the other stages are due to be ready within two years.

“It’s only a couple of weeks since the Government announced its $3.79m in funding for the wine centre but that followed months of work behind the scenes, so we want to waste no time getting construction underway.”

Gerald Hope says when complete the buildings will cap off nearly four decades since the Marlborough Research Centre was started to support the region’s economy and make it more resilient.

“We began by working with Plant and Food Research, particularly harnessing its proven expertise to grow Marlborough’s wine industry; then we linked with NMIT to develop our existing buildings and student research on its Blenheim campus; in February came the opening of the wine research facilities of the Bragato Research Institute.”

Gerald Hope says the New Zealand Wine Centre will provide integrated facilities for these organisations to work together with wine industry innovators, as well as with wine researchers from other Kiwi institutions and from around the world.

NMIT’s Director Marlborough, Carole Crawford says the new buildings will put a new heart into the campus which has become somewhat tired.

“The New Zealand Wine Centre buildings will be matched by a spruce up across the whole campus creating a multi-use research and education environment where everything will fit together to create brilliant fresh spaces for everyone, including our students and staff.”

“Our collaborative approach and response post-COVID has seen a further growth in enrolments and opportunities for tertiary education in the region. With the Government measures to encourage more training along with the national centre for wine research now underway, this will be a busy and exciting place for students and for Marlborough.”

Once approved, Stage 2 of the New Zealand Wine Centre development will provide a new gateway to the campus through the existing NMIT entrance which will be redeveloped and modernised. Likewise, an additional Stage 3, will provide laboratories, offices and future focussed shared teaching spaces at the campus.

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