18 Apr 2011

Govt contributes $3.5m to mining memorial centre

9:00 pm on 18 April 2011

A $5 million events centre is to be built on the West Coast to commemorate the Pike River Coal tragedy and other victims of past mining accidents.

It will be named the West Coast Miners Memorial Events Centre.

Twenty-nine miners and contractors died in a series of explosions that began at the mine near Greymouth on 19 November last year.

Economic Development Minister David Carter says the scheme will also help stimulate the local economy by creating job opportunities during its construction, including for firms directly affected by the closure the Pike River Coal mine.

The Government is to contribute $3.5 million and the rest will be funded by West Coast organisations.

Grey District mayor Tony Kokshoorn is confident the community will help provide extra money needed and is grateful to the Government.

Prime Minister John Key says the Government is pleased to be involved in what will be an enduring memorial to West Coast miners.