Source: New Zealand Government
Construction starts today on the extension to Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery funded by $12 million from the Provincial Growth Fund, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says.
“This morning, the mauri stone was laid by local iwi to represent the life force of the building and the important role it will have in our future,” Shane Jones said.
“With a number of local contractors employed to work on the new build, this is good news for the region as it, along with the rest of New Zealand, recovers from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Around 800 people will work on the project over the course of construction, along with the refurbishment of the original building which includes seismic strengthening.
“In the long term, 135 indirect jobs are expected as a result of this investment and the expanded gallery, already a jewel in Whanganui’s crown, will become even more attractive to visitors when we are again able to travel freely around the country.
“It’s essential that we invest in the right projects to make sure regions are well-placed to ride the wave of economic recovery.
“It’s also important we preserve this taonga on behalf of iwi and for future generations so young Kiwis stay connected to New Zealand’s history,” Shane Jones said.
The new wing of the Serjeant Gallery will extend the exhibition space which showcases a nationally significant art collection and taonga held on behalf of iwi.
The gallery’s refurbishment follows 10 years of fund-raising for the multimillion-dollar projects, including hundreds of individual donations from the local community.