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Clutha District Council to fund heritage centre feasibility study

February 6, 2014

The Clutha District Council will fund a feasibility study on a proposed $5.5 million heritage machinery museum in the Otago town of Milton.

Following a funding request from Roger Mahan and the New Zealand Cultural Heritage Trust, Clutha District Councillors have agreed to spend up to $20,000 on a feasibility study

Earlier this year the Trust was granted resource consent to create a community complex, museum and cafe.

The Trust was founded in 2003 by Mahan, the Managing Director of Milburn Lime Ltd, and was formed to work with the Department of Culture and Heritage to protect and display heritage machinery, tractors, traction engines and artefacts.

The proposed complex would be mainly composed of a museum, with an adjoining cafe and amenities on the corner of State Highway 1 and Helensbrook Road, next to McLay Boats.

A letter from law firm Farry and Co, written on behalf of Mahan and the Trust, asked the council to contribute to the project.

In return for the Council's contribution, Mahan will gift the land and buildings to the Council and enter into a perpetual licence for the use of the vintage machinery which he intends to display.

If developed, the museum would house a collection of Mahan's vintage machinery which includes vintage and veteran cars, motor vehicles, motorbikes, lorries, earthmoving equipment, steam traction engines and hot-air machines. The museum would also hold other collections from around the district.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $5.5 million which includes the land, building and private collection.

The resource consent application said it would be similar in design to McLay Boats, about 10,000 metre2 and include a high ceiling to allow all types of machinery to be displayed.

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