Wellington Scoop

Most of $127m culture budget allocated to strengthening Town Hall and St James

News from WCC
Wellington’s arts, events and culture scene will be refreshed and reinvigorated as a result of a $127 million investment from the city council over the next 10 years.

“We need to invest in our creative sector at all levels, from big international events through to grass roots projects,” says Wellington Mayor Justin Lester. “That will help us create jobs, bring world-class acts here, and attract and support talent, and will ensure that Wellington remains New Zealand’s creative capital.”

$16 million is budgeted in the Council’s draft 10 year plan to deliver a Decade of Culture. It will support local arts events such as WOW, Visa Wellington On a Plate and the New Zealand Festival and also performing arts venues.

“We want to present a refreshed arts and events programme which will ensure Wellington remains a vibrant and exciting city that attracts visitors and offers a high quality of life for residents,” the Mayor says.

Venues will also benefit, with almost $111 million capital investment in strengthening and improvements to the Town Hall, the St James Theatre and the home of the Wellington Museum – the Bond Store.

Councillor Nicola Young, Associate Arts Portfolio Leader, says Wellington’s point of difference is its arts, culture and creative sectors.

“From technology and innovation, through to arts and events, Wellington has the highest percentage of people employed in creative sectors in New Zealand and we hope this investment will keep people here and attract many more to our city,” she says.

“We know that Wellington’s vibrant and diverse arts and cultural life is seen as important by our residents, and the Decade of Culture will only add to that.”

The draft 10 year plan document will be released on Friday 2 March and discussed by Councillors on 7 March. Formal public consultation will begin on 15 April.