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New storage facility planned for Akaroa Museum

21 September 2007

Christchurch City Council has today (Friday, 21 September) released concept plans for a new purpose-built storage facility for the Akaroa Museum.

The 259sqm facility will be built at the rear of the existing Museum, on adjoining Council-owned land in Rue Balguerie.

For some years the Museum has had a lack of suitable storage space, says Council Community Services General Manager Stephen McArthur.

"This has meant historical treasures of the Banks Peninsula community have been inappropriately stored and there has been a real risk of these being damaged, broken or destroyed. The restriction on storage space has also had an impact on the Museum’s ability to acquire new and valuable historical items for its collection."

Akaroa Museum has been part of the local landscape for 40 years, working to preserve the heritage of Banks Peninsula and the historical significance of the township.

He says the new storage facility was first identified as a key project by the former Banks Peninsula District Council which committed funding of $500,000 to the project.

"Before work can begin on the facility, some additional funding will need to be secured, the exact sum of which is yet to be finalised, and suitable premises need to be found for Heartlands which currently occupies the 1970s cottage that is currently on the Rue Balguerie site."

Mr McArthur says Council has identified new centrally located premises for Heartlands and is working with its tenant the Ministry of Social Development and the owner of these premises to negotiate a suitable lease agreement. This is expected to take some months to finalise.

"When Heartlands has been suitably relocated to new premises, the 1970s cottage will be removed to allow for the new storage facility to be built."

The concept plans for the new storage facility have been designed by Christchurch-based Wilkie & Bruce Architects to be sympathetic to the existing residential architecture of the neighbourhood. The building will be linked to the existing Museum which fronts Rue Lavaud.

He says work on the storage facility is not expected to be completed until 2009/10.

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