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Development Plans for Christchurch Venues

Development Plans for Christchurch Venues
April 14, 2009

The importance of two premier facilities on New Zealand's South Island is being highlighted in a request for public submissions to support their development.

Venue manager Vbase has developed a proposal to expand the Christchurch Convention Centre and to refurbish and modernise the Christchurch Town Hall for Performing Arts.

The proposal was submitted to the Christchurch City Council as part of the 2009/19 Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP). The Council has included this proposal in the draft LTCCP that is now open for public submissions until 5pm on Thursday 16th April 2009.

Vbase subjected the business case to independent review and, subsequent to the submission, commissioned a further economic impact assessment, in part due to the current recessionary economic environment.

The independent review validated the business case for expansion of the Convention Centre and refurbishment and modernisation of the Town Hall.

The regional economic assessment has confirmed the substantial impact of these facilities on the prosperity of our region and city. The regional economic output from the facilities is now estimated at $80 million per annum from which economic value added of $40 million per annum is derived.

This further assessment of the economic impact of the facilities on our region has revised the previous estimations due to refined analysis of visitor spending data and the downward trend in flow-on impacts of this spending through the local economy.

This further assessment means the Convention Centre expansion investment will be recovered in economic value added to our region over a three-year period.

Christchurch City Council Chief Executive Bryan Pearson says the venues clearly have a proven direct benefit to Christchurch and called on ratepayers, businesses and organisations to support the Vbase proposal, stating "the Convention Centre brings significant benefit to the city, but we are turning business away.

"Every year, many thousands of visitors attend events at the Convention Centre, spending millions in and around the city during their stay here. The Convention Centre operates at capacity most of the year, but the business visitor market is growing and we need the venue to do the same.

"The impact of not doing so will be felt right across the city. The visitors to these venues have been the catalyst for development of other tourism infrastructure in Christchurch, but that may not continue if we don't create more space.

"Investing in these venues now will ensure we can bring more major events to this city for years to come. It is important Christchurch people make a submission now in favour of our proposal, so we can say âyesâ to the many opportunities we are turning away."

LTCCP submissions must be received at the Tuam Street Civic Offices, before 5pm on Thursday 16th April 2009.

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