Future Plans for Aigantighe set out

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Published: 14 Oct 2020

Timaru District Council’s plans to secure and enhance Aigantighe Art Gallery for the future has taken a major step forward.

The council’s Community Development Committee yesterday recommended that Council decided to proceed with the House Gallery Project, which will see the earthquake strengthening of the House Gallery.

The $3.3 million project is proposed to be funded 1/3 from council, 1/3 from central government and heritage grants and 1/3 from community fundraising.

The committee also recommended that a proposal is taken to the next long term plan  to provide options  for modernisation of the 1978 and 1995 extensions to make them fit for future purpose and solve some of the wider issues around storage, display and activity space at the gallery.

Following the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016 an initial seismic assessment (ISA) of the House Gallery found the building structure was 10% of New Building Standards (NBS) and is of very high seismic risk relative to a new building.

The recommendations follow a project feasibility study undertaken this year which outlined three feasible options for the future of the gallery, all of which featured the strengthening and restoration of the house gallery.

Those are:

  • Earthquake strengthen and restore House - maintain extension as is and  develop an offsite storage facility.
  • Earthquake strengthen and restore House with a partial refurbishment of the     extension to address public amenities and workspaces and develop offsite storage facility.
  • Earthquake strengthen and restore House – full redevelopment of the extension     to include spaces for education, creativity and more exhibition space.

Aigantighe Art Gallery Director, Cara Fitzgerald said that it was fantastic to have a clear pathway for the future of the gallery.

“Aigantighe House itself is one of the largest artworks in the collection, so it’s great to see we now have a clear pathway to secure its future.

“The decision also enables us to start discussing with the community how we develop the gallery in the future to make it a more accessible and suitable space to both display and store our extensive collections, while providing more educational services and events for visitors.

“I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Hamish and the whole gallery team for getting us to this exciting stage.”

Last updated: 24 Feb 2021