Miners’ Hall support gathers speed

Laura Mills

A proposed restoration plan for the Runanga Miners’ Hall was to be lodged with the Grey District Council by the 5pm deadline today, and the hall supporters are upbeat.
Two Mondays ago, the Grey District Council gave the Runanga Area Association just 10 working days to come up with a comprehensive plan to show how it will pay for and restore the hall within three years. That sets aside a ballot that showed an overwhelming 88% of Runanga residents wanted the rundown hall demolished and/or replaced.
The area association leases the hall from the council.
The council said today it would hold an extraordinary meeting next Wednesday to discuss the way forward.
Hall spokesman Paul Thomas said lawyer Bev Connors had helped, and they had put together a project team with the “right skills”.
“We have all the right people to make it a success,” Mr Thomas said.
The group had lots of good dialogue with the council over the past 10 days.
He said the key was to stabilise the building and improve its seismic strength, then look at the overall integrity, and from there sustainable uses for the future.
Asked about the cost and fundraising, he said it would cost less than the public perceived. They would apply to key funding agencies, including Lotto.