24 May 2015

$4m boost for Whanganui's Sarjeant Gallery

9:20 pm on 24 May 2015

The $31.5 million redevelopment plan for the historic Sarjeant Gallery in Whanganui has received a boost.

The existing Sargeant Gallery

The existing Sargeant Gallery Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

As part of its long-term plan hearings this week, the district council confirmed $4 million from the city's earthquake-strengthening rate will go towards the gallery.

The building in Queens Park is severely earthquake-prone, and meets just 5 percent of the new building standard.

Artist impression of Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment

Artist impression of the Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment Photo: SUPPLIED

Mayor Annette Main said the Sarjeant Gallery was one of Whanganui's most loved buildings and whether it was redeveloped or not, the money was needed for the strengthening work.

She said the Sarjeant, which was mothballed at present, topped a list of Whanganui's most loved buildings and was worth protecting.

"It's obviously a priority for earthquake strengthening and so whether or not we had a project to redevelop the gallery we were still obliged to strengthen either the existing gallery or to include that strengthening in the overall redevelopment project."

Whanganui is trying to raise $10 million for the redevelopment project, to trigger a similar contribution from the Government.