23 Jul 2015

Council votes to upgrade Trafalgar Centre

2:11 pm on 23 July 2015

Nelson city councillors have agreed unanimously to upgrade the city's earthquake-prone Trafalgar Centre.

Trafalgar Centre

The Trafalgar Centre Photo: RNZ/ Tracy Neal

After 18 months of heated public debate, a decision has been made to go ahead with a plan under which parts of the large building will be demolished and rebuilt.

But the decision was not without debate over the merits of spending that could amount to $13 million. Some critics said it could end up costing even more than that.

The centre, which was built in the 1970s, was suddenly closed in late 2013 on legal advice.

It was found to be well below the threshold of seismic safety, although several in the community disagreed with the decision to close it, believing it was a knee-jerk reaction to inaccurate information.

Some councillors did not believe the building would ever be adequate as a performance venue, but all agreed it was better than nothing and that Nelson was economically worse off for not having it.

A detailed design and construction plan will now be commissioned.

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