$600,000 for Waitaki Cultural FacilityThe Otago Community Trust is pleased to announce that Trustees approved a $600,000 donation last week to support the Waitaki District Council with the development of the new Waitaki Cultural Facility. The multimillion-dollar project for the new cultural facility in Oamaru will see the amalgamation of the Forrester Gallery, North Otago Museum and Waitaki District Archive. The project known as the Cultural Facility Development Project will address the current cultural needs of the community, future proof the preservation and presentation of the collection and provide space for future expansion. Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said “We’re thrilled that the Otago Community Trust has recognised the special significance of the Cultural Facility Development Project and awarded this grant for the project. This money, along with other funding we’ve received, will help us create a facility that will showcase Waitaki’s past and present – artworks, objects, photos and archived documents”. To create the new $5.9 million dollar facility, the Waitaki District Council will extend and redevelop the current Forrester Gallery building located at Thames Street, Oamaru. This will double its size so it can house a combined North Otago Museum, Forrester Gallery and Waitaki District Archive. Otago Community Trust chief executive Barbara Bridger said “the Waitaki community have debated for some time the best solution for the Forrester Gallery and the restoration of the North Otago Museum and Archive. Our Trustees are impressed with the thought and consideration that has been advanced to preserve the important heritage of the Waitaki region”. The new cultural facility will meet industry best practice standards in terms of climate control, efficiency and access space will be greatly enhanced. It will provide the Waitaki community with a contemporary facility to showcase collections, said Bridger. The new cultural facility is anticipated to open its doors to the community in 2019.