10 Apr 2009

Upgrade proposed for Christchurch public buildings

3:04 pm on 10 April 2009

The organisation that manages Christchurch's Town Hall and Convention Centre is calling for the public to support its $100 million redevelopment plan for the two buildings.

Vbase manages the Town Hall, Convention Centre, Westpac Trust Stadium and AMI Stadium on behalf of the Christchurch City Council, which is being asked to fund the developments.

The management company's chief executive Bryan Pearson says refurbishment and redevelopment of the 37-year-old Town Hall is crucial to maintain the level of performing arts events that come to Christchurch.

Mr Pearson says the Town Hall needs large scale maintenance, including a new roof, new air conditioning and heating systems, major electrical maintenance and replacement seating.

Aside from maintenance, the company has redevelopment plans, including a new restaurant in the complex.

Bryan Pearson says the Convention Centre also needs a major expansion to allow it to keep up with demand for the use of the facility.

He says it is now too small to cope with the volume of conferences it attracts, and many have had to be turned away.

The Convention Centre would account for the majority of the $100 million expenditure, but Mr Pearson says the investment would be recovered in three years as the improved facilities would attract more business to the city.

Vbase wants the redevelopment scheme included in the Christchurch City Council's long term plan and is asking for the public to make submissions in support of it.