21 Mar 2014

Grant to help restore historic chambers

10:21 pm on 21 March 2014

A grant to help restore the historic Canterbury Provincial Council buildings has been confirmed by the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal Trust.

Together with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the trust will give $2.5 million to help restore the quake-damaged buildings' stone towers on Armagh and Durham streets.

The announcement, made by trustee Rod Carr and Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel, is being welcomed by heritage advocates.

Ms Dalziel told reporters the city council will contribute, but isn't sure how much.

"This is a significant contribution and actually without which we would be struggling to make this commitment so early. By the end of next year, we should be in a position to be able to hold a conference and to tell you exactly when things are going to be finally in place for the reopening of the building."

A spokesperson for the Historic Places Trust, Anna Crighton, says the buildings are the only purpose-built provincial government buildings still in existence in New Zealand.

The total cost of the restoration project is unknown, but is likely to exceed the insurance payout of $30 million.

Timber chamber in the Canterbury Provincial Council Building.

Timber chamber in the Canterbury Provincial Council Building. Photo: PHOTO NZ