Ōpōtiki District Council’s Deputy Mayor is thrilled with the news in recent weeks that grant funding has been confirmed from BayTrust’s Community Amenities Fund and Lotteries Communities Facilities Fund to support the build of Te Tahuhu o Te Rangi, Ōpōtiki’s new Technology and Research Centre.

BayTrust have approved a $300,000 grant toward the redevelopment. Deputy Mayor, Shona Browne said that this grant was a huge benefit to the project.

“BayTrust have been great to work with – they have been encouraging throughout and they have a genuine understanding of our district and what we are working to achieve. The funds will benefit generations of users so we are so pleased to have them on board,” Ms Browne said.

A total of five projects worth $1,103,000 have received funding from BayTrust’s Community Amenities Fund this year. The Bay-wide fund is designed to support intergenerational assets that have broad community support.

BayTrust CEO Alastair Rhodes says the annual fund is an exciting opportunity to secure funds for community and environmental assets that will make a real difference to Bay of Plenty residents for generations to come.

“BayTrust’s vision is to ensure the Bay of Plenty is the greatest place to be. Our population is growing, and our community’s needs continue to evolve. Building new community assets or expanding existing ones to meet those needs requires substantial funding and we’re pleased we can contribute in a significant way.

“Te Tahuhu o Te Rangi will be a new focal point for the Opotiki community. The building will enrich people’s lives and increase their sense of wellbeing and connectedness.”

Lotteries Communities Facilities Fund has also contributed $400,000 towards the redevelopment cost.

“I would also like to acknowledge the funding that was allocated to the project from EBET [Eastern Bay Energy Trust] several years ago. They recently reiterated their support for the project and we have secured a grant of $225,000.

“These grants show the support for Ōpōtiki’s vision for a shared community hub – a space for learning and sharing that knowledge, meeting and studying or using the wide world of new digital technologies.

“The community has given so much time and energy in recent years to bring this vision to life. From bake sales to art tours, we have worked incredibly hard to get this project off the ground. It is exciting to be able to finally say that we will be seeing action towards this build within a few short months,” Ms Browne said.