Funding begins for Runanga Miners’ Hall feasibility study

By Nicholas McBride
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The Runanga Area Association will begin fundraising for a feasibility study on the Miners’ Hall as it looks to allow the public back into the earthquake risk building.
The landmark was recently granted a category one listing with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and the Runanga group is now looking to proceed with fundraising for a feasibility study and to appoint a project manager.
Getting the feasibility report would involve wide consultation with local people, user groups and stakeholders and identify how many jobs might be created and sustained.
Runanga Area Association president Les Holmes said in the group’s latest newsletter the way was now open to make funding applications to New Zealand Lottery and Heritage, the Canterbury Trust and any other sources to bring the seismic assessment back to the requirements for public use.
“The way is now open to make funding applications ... and have it restored as it ought to be,” Mr Holmes said.
That would mean they could allow user groups back, such as the skate club, sports events and live performances.
So far the group has commissioned a conservation plan, fire protection plan and structural engineers report.
However, Runanga Miners’ Hall restoration project co-ordinator Paul Kearns acknowledged in the newsletter that over the three-year period, their restoration efforts had been hampered.
“The tragedies at Pike River, Christchurch earthquake and the closure of Spring Creek (Mine) have all had direct, sustained and severe impacts on our project.”
The recent earthquakes around Seddon had also shaken heritage national stock and limited funding pockets.