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Creative New Zealand commits $4.5 million to Auckland Waterfront Theatre Project

23 Jul 2013

This content is tagged as Theatre .


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Creative New Zealand will invest a total of $4.5 million to help realise the new Waterfront Theatre Project in central Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter.

The new, international-standard centre for performing arts will be integrated with the new ASB head office complex and become the permanent home of Auckland Theatre Company (ATC). The centre will include a 600-seat theatre and access to a 200-seat auditorium within the ASB development.

“This is an exceptional opportunity to invest in a capital project that will fill a large gap in Auckland’s arts infrastructure and will have many benefits for the wider Auckland community as a venue for performance,” says Arts Council Chairman Dr Dick Grant.

“It is unusual for Creative New Zealand to invest in a capital project but we are pleased to be joining with key institutions to help make this important project happen,” he said

Creative New Zealand made an initial investment of $3 million in 2012 and a further $1.5 million investment has been made possible by income from the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board. 

The funds will not be released until ATC has secured all the funding it needs for the project and the start is confirmed.

Since Creative New Zealand’s original grant was made ATC has secured significant additional funding towards the $35.1 million project, including a $5 million partnership with AUT University.

Other major contributors to the project include Auckland Council, ASB Community Trust and the Lion Foundation, as well as private donors and benefactors.  Creative New Zealand’s commitment brings the total pledged to approximately $33 million.

“ATC has made impressive progress in advancing the project and securing funding.  It has demonstrated its considerable ability and leadership in the way it has managed the funding commitments and partnerships needed,” Dr Grant said.

Creative New Zealand’s support is a tremendous boost to the project said ATC Chair, Gordon Moller.  “With the final fundraising target in sight, and thanks to the many people who have got behind the project, we should be in a position to start construction in 2014”

Notes to Editors:

Creative New Zealand has invested in capital projects on two previous occasions:

  • $500,000 towards the Court Theatre’s new venue in Christchurch (August 2011)
  • 3 million pledged to the Waterfront Theatre Project  (September 2012)

A mid-sized venue for performing arts companies has been identified by Auckland Council as the single highest priority for the performing arts in Auckland. The Waterfront Theatre Project includes a 600-seat theatre, designed specifically for drama and dance, access to a 200-seat auditorium within the ASB head office development, a shared courtyard and other facilities

The project would allow the Auckland Theatre Company to reach larger audiences and have more control over programming.  It would also allow a wider range of local and touring performing arts events to be seen by Auckland audiences than is currently possible.