Finalising a 20 year journey of previous investigations, the volunteer group behind this community-led project are excited to be releasing the finalised floor plans of the Clutha Community Hub. We have been working alongside our locally appointed design and build partner Calder Stewart and their teams to develop the concept designs into detailed plans. This has involved a significant amount of input from community groups and partners to ensure they are fit for purpose.
The Clutha Community Hub Charitable Trust (the Trust) – representing community ownership has committed to ensuring we are delivering a facility that is inclusive and accessible for all and has the quality, flexibility and financial sustainability to meet the needs of the community now and in the future.
While retaining the significance of its foundations as a war memorial hall, the Hub is more than just building a new hall. It is about providing a platform for revitalisation, and new opportunities within the district, and what greater monument can we build to honour the sacrifice of our forebears than to build a legacy together that empowers our children and our wider community with knowledge, opportunity and prosperity.
Honouring the primary purpose of the existing building there is a dedicated space for the existing WWII memorial front and centre in a prominent location visible 24/7 from SH1. It will provide appropriate space for reflection and dressing for memorial occasions. This area will flow into a redeveloped memorial garden which will likely include the relocation of the existing cenotaph and a proposed wall of honour capturing all ~3200 of those from the whole Clutha District that has served.
This space has been created with multipurpose in mind from a cultural, community, theatrical, and business standpoint, and to meet the requirements of existing user groups. With a 478 person retractable seating system, flat floor resilient stage, modern theatre technology and end to end lighting/grid system this space not only caters for existing theatre productions, shearing, small bore, and indoor bowls it also supports conferences, business seminars, live bands, community fundraisers, fashion shows and is being designed to meet the requirements of NZs leading regional programmes such as the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Additional seating can be set up to support other large gatherings the current facility has been used for. A theatre consultant and acoustic engineers have been engaged to ensure both specialist requirements are met as well as the practical needs of wider community engagement.
The back of house facilities include changing rooms and amenities plus the flexible use of meeting rooms and community spaces that have been designed to close off for larger scale productions. A large meeting room upstairs doubles as the technical area for theatre productions.
Walking through the corten steel entrance protecting the facility from the elements you are welcomed by an open atrium that provides a relaxed environment for visitors, residents and businesses to catch up with friends, check the route to the next destination or wait for an event. It is centred around the metaphor of the river, linking the different areas within, the space itself enabling connections. Providing a modern visitor experience is an integral part of the facility. The district’s i-SITE and Clutha District Council Service Centre are located in the main atrium space.
This area will be a platform to showcase the district’s heritage, ngā kōrero tuku iho, culture and arts in a variety of methods from popup displays and exhibitions, cinema capability, to leading AR and AI driven technology. It will be the central place to drive interest into visiting all communities within our fantastic district.
Accessing the second floor via the central staircase or lift you enter into another space containing a viewing gallery, offering views of both the bridge and the mighty Clutha River | Mata-au itself. The staircase alone providing seating, zoned audio and a large screen which can be utilised for a number of purposes.
WiFi and charging facilities will be available throughout.
A core objective of this new facility was maintaining accessibility and affordability to the community groups and locals users.
We are excited to deliver a range of multi use spaces within the facility, including tenancy spaces, meeting rooms and public spaces that have the flexibility to provide community groups, services and agencies with opportunities to meet or deliver their services from regularly or on a as needs basis. These spaces are accessible, bookable, child-friendly, and promote more collaborative ways of working to provide better outcomes for the district’s residents.
fully fitted, commercial grade kitchen has been included as a separate area for rental by community for fundraising events, commercial cooking or delivering catering to any area of the facility.
An eclectic mix of coworking spaces featuring hotdesks, permanent workspaces/booths and small office spaces for 2/4 people with fibre backed facilities. Stunning kitchen facilities cater for both the tenants and users, as a central networking space and provide an impressive service space for canape evenings, launches and after hours business events into the larger circulation space overlooking the river.
There are 5 various sized tenantable commercial or office spaces within the facility, with the one on the ground floor being shown as a possible eatery space for potential use. There will also be multiple meeting rooms of varying sizes scattered throughout the facility available for both community and business use via an online booking system providing a neutral space for all engagements.
The Trust are also working with additional partners to allow programmes currently not available in the district to be executed here once the facility is operational.
The landscaping plans are being finalised but we will likely include better car parking facilities, bus access, Clutha District war memorial garden, new links to the river, bridge and cycling and walking tracks, it also will tie into the recent Clyde street scaping enhancements.
The Trust are awaiting the final project cost once certain design decisions have been finalised, this will be released once available.
The Trust has secured $14.9 million in funding to advance the construction of the facility targeting a $15 million capital cost. Part of this was a Clutha District Council contribution, where through the annual planning consultation process with ratepayers it agreed to fund 50% up to $7.5 million. Should the final figure come in over to achieve the best solution for the community, this will be sourced by the Trust through a variety of funding options and will not have a further impact to the districts rates.
The Clutha District War Memorial & Community Centre Charitable Trust successfully secured $7.4 million of cental government funding via Crown Infrastructure Partners as part of the call for shovel ready projects. This central government funding was pivotal in the enabling of the continuation of this project. The combination of Calder Stewart being engaged as design and construction partner, leveraging local construction and associated trades resources and the ongoing jobs created via engagement with the new services the facility will provide it is projected there will be ~150 jobs created directly and indirectly via the Hub, and millions of dollars of associated revenue to the district which is pivotal to supporting the local economy at this time.
Recently, the Clutha Community Hub committee held “The Last Dance” as an important moment to take the time to reflect and celebrate what a great facility our current 60 year old hall has been and get together and reminisce about some of the great events that have been held there before the legacy continues. Numerous talented musicians shared their talent with us, and along with the generosity of the local community and businesses – $9000.00 was fundraised towards the new facility.
The Trust has appointed OCTA Associates as our Project Management and Engineer to the Contract who will represent us and manage the detailed design and construction stages of the project. The project is nearing completion of the detailed design, including architectural and interior design finishes, structural and foundation designs, heating, fire, electrical and plumbing fitouts, landscaping and civil works. Once these details are finalised the final cost of construction can be completed.
A process of salvaging items and materials for repurposing in the new facility or rehoming is being released, and will occur over the next couple of months. If you have any questions or have feedback we would welcome further discussions at community group meetings etc.
Published in the Clutha Leader. 7 December 2020.