What is
The Clutha Community Hub?

A multipurpose community, business and visitor hub that meets the needs of the Clutha District, now and into the future.

A memorial, for all.

Honouring the primary purpose of the existing building there is a dedicated space for the existing WWII memorial front and centre in a prominent location visible 24/7 from SH1. It will provide appropriate space for reflection and dressing for memorial occasions. This area will flow into a redeveloped memorial garden which will likely include the relocation of the existing cenotaph and a proposed wall of honour capturing all ~3200 of those from the whole Clutha District that have served.

Let’s go on with the show.

This space has been created with multipurpose in mind from a cultural, community, theatrical, and business standpoint, and to meet the requirements of existing user groups. With a 478 person retractable seating system, flat floor resilient stage, modern theatre technology and end to end lighting/grid system this space not only caters for existing theatre productions, shearing, small bore, and indoor bowls it also supports conferences, business seminars, live bands, community fundraisers, fashion shows and is being designed to meet the requirements of NZ’s leading regional programmes such as the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Additional seating can be set up to support other large gatherings the current facility has been used for. A theatre consultant and acoustic engineers have been engaged to ensure both specialist requirements are met as well as the practical needs of wider community engagement.

The back of house facilities include changing rooms and amenities plus the flexible use of meeting rooms and community spaces that have been designed to close off for larger scale productions. It also contains a dedicated control room for light and audio patching, and spare rack space for visiting productions.

A warm welcome.

Walking through the corten steel entrance protecting the facility from the elements you are welcomed by an open atrium that provides a relaxed environment for visitors, residents and businesses to catch up with friends, check the route to the next destination or wait for an event. It is centred around the metaphor of the river, linking the different areas within, the space itself enabling connections.

Providing a modern visitor experience is an integral part of the facility. The district’s i-SITE and Clutha District Council Service Centre are located in the main atrium space.

This area will be a platform to showcase the district’s heritage, ngā kōrero tuku iho, culture and arts in a variety of methods from popup displays and exhibitions, cinema capability, to leading AR and AI driven technology. It will be the central place to drive interest into visiting all communities within our fantastic district.

Accessing the second floor via the central staircase or lift you enter into another space containing a viewing gallery, offering views of both the bridge and the mighty Clutha River | Mata-au itself. The staircase alone providing seating, zoned audio and a large screen which can be utilised for a number of purposes.

WiFi and charging facilities will be available throughout.

Taking care of business.

An eclectic mix of co-working spaces featuring hot desks, permanent workspaces/booths and small office spaces for 2/4 people with fibre backed facilities. Stunning kitchen facilities cater for both the tenants and users, as a central networking space and provide an impressive service space for canapé evenings, launches and after hours business events into the larger circulation space overlooking the river.

There are 5 various sized tenantable commercial or office spaces within the facility, with the one on the ground floor being shown as a possible eatery space for potential use. There will also be multiple meeting rooms of varying sizes scattered throughout the facility available for both community and business use via an online booking system providing a neutral space for all engagements.

The Trust are also working with additional partners to allow programmes currently not available in the district to be executed here once the facility is operational.

Community over all.

A core objective of this new facility was maintaining accessibility and affordability to the community groups and locals users.

We are excited to deliver a range of multi use spaces within the facility, including tenancy spaces, meeting rooms and public spaces that have the flexibility to provide community groups, services and agencies with opportunities to meet or deliver their services from regularly or on a as needs basis. These spaces are accessible, bookable, child-friendly, and promote more collaborative ways of working to provide better outcomes for the district’s residents.

A fully fitted, commercial grade kitchen has been included as a separate area for rental by community for fundraising events, commercial cooking or delivering catering to any area of the facility.

Beautiful surroundings.

The landscaping will include better car parking facilities, bus access, Clutha District war memorial garden, new links to the river, bridge and cycling and walking tracks, it also will tie into the recent Clyde Street scaping enhancements.

View gallery

Meet the team

Clutha Community Hub Volunteer Committee

Clutha Community Hub Charitable Trust

Proudly supported by

Innov8HQ
Hokonui Rūnanga
The Commute
Kānoa
Clutha Development
Clutha District Council
Calder Stewart

Learn more about the project

Frequently Asked Questions.

During 2016-17 the Clutha District Council undertook a consultation process to contribute to the “Our Place Balclutha” Community Plan, where turning the Balclutha War Memorial Hall into a rejuvenated community hub ranked the second-highest priority for the community (the first being the entrances to the Balclutha bridge).

A steering committee was formed by the council from the local community after a request of interest, and subsequently, a Charitable Trust was formed by the Committee to progress the project to the business case and represent the community as a legal entity.

The facility will no longer be owned and operated by the Clutha District Council, instead, the Clutha Community Hub Charitable Trust on behalf of the community will have ownership, governance and management of the facility. Therefore, it is vitally important that the facility is financially sustainable long term, to not only keep it affordable for the local community but to allow it to evolve as the needs of the community do.

We want to see the facility stay relevant and provide for the community for the next 60 years…

We recognise there are a number of projects within the district in recent times that have funded a significant amount within the immediate communities. This projects aim is to amplify the investment through showcasing the district as a whole, a central point to promote the value of all townships within the district and their own unique histories and achievements, to promote the Clutha District as a great place to work, live and experience, a place to invest in. The new facility adds infrastructure to the Clutha District that is currently missing.

The combination of Calder Stewart being engaged as design and construction partner, leveraging local construction and associated trades resources and the ongoing jobs created via engagement with the new services the facility will provide, it is projected there will be ~150 jobs created directly and indirectly via the Hub, and millions of dollars of associated revenue to the district. There are currently ~115 full time positions being secured through the construction of this new facility.

Calder Stewart are our locally appointed design and build partner.

The Trust has appointed OCTA Associates as our Project Management and Engineer to the Contract who will represent us and manage the detailed design and construction stages of the project.

The feasibility process indicated a cost of $20 million for a new build based on the conceptual plans.

The consideration around this facility was its longevity, its ability to attract and retain tourists and professional acts, its ability to fill gaps in the modern commercial environment, its ability to stimulate like investment in the district, and ultimately its ability to deliver on what was requested through the community consultation process, all of which these were a part of.

The required footprint to encompass the end goal is approximately 3100 square metres, which is a sizable build. We wanted to ensure that when the facility is delivered to the community, it was not only fit for purpose but to a standard that would see it minimising the financial impact to the community over the lifetime of the facility.

The detailed design stage is now completed, which includes the architectural detailed plans, interior design works, structural and foundation designs, heating, fire, electrical and plumbing fit-outs, landscaping and civil works, and consents.

The Trust are pleased to have entered into a construction contract with Calder Stewart. The cost of this project will be $11.114million for the base build with a provisional sum of $8.4million allocated for fit out. An additional $1.25million is expected for related costs – landscaping, project management, wider civil works – however part of this will be realised by related projects.

The economic climate that Covid 19 has created has had a significant impact on New Zealand’s economy, including, a huge increase in cost of construction materials, shortage and availability of materials and freight challenges. This impact alone added a projected $1.6million in costs to the project. The Trust and design teams have worked hard to make a number of design changes to reduce the capital cost by up to $1.8million.

An independent QS was contracted to review the figures.

The Trust has secured $14.9 million in funding to date to advance the construction of the facility. Part of this was a Clutha District Council contribution, where through the annual planning consultation process with ratepayers it agreed to fund 50% up to $7.5 million. ​ For more information on this process click here.

A further $7.4million was secured through central government via the Crown Infrastructure Partners ‘Shovel Ready’ project funding. This central government funding was pivotal in enabling the continuation of this project.

The Trust is now in the process of securing the remaining funds through third-party funding sources such as philanthropic trusts and foundations, corporate sponsorship, public donations and fundraising. The business case also supported a loan which the Trust will look at should there be a shortfall.

The existing building is currently sitting on 30% NBS and requires a significant investment just to bring it to code. The expected cost of this is approximately a quarter of a new build with no perceivable difference seen after the investment, no additional ability to meet any of the objectives of the community feedback, and no ability to generate new revenue meaning the costs going forward would directly impact the community.

We do however recognise the significant community investment and importance of the original building and are reflecting that within the new facility. Paying homage to the original building was a core part of the design process – providing visitors to the new with a connection to the original, continuing its legacy for future generations and there as a reminder of the previous community effort.

We sought feedback and held meetings with the existing stakeholders including tenants and core user groups.

All community groups that utilised the original facility have been supported within the new, this includes South Otago Shears, Target Shooting NZ South Otago, South Otago Indoor Bowls and South Otago Theatrical Society.

If you would like to engage with us as a community group or business please contact us through the contact page.

The facility is aiming to be opened in 2022.

The Critical Path Plan which contains a project timeline will be available soon.

There are a number of reasons – Balclutha has limited land available, the existing site has fantastic visitor visibility, foot access to other local amenities such as the South Otago Museum, Naish Park via the walkway and the town centre itself, and is in close proximity to our primary asset the mighty Mata-au. The site is accessible and will have adequate parking within the immediate vicinity. Geotechnical pre-work indicated the current site was suitable to host the new facility. Available data in regard to both seismic and precipitation triggered flood events indicate the facility would incur non structural damage related to a high water level within the town boundary only – should it occur within the lifetime of the facility. Pursuing another site would have added significant costs and complexity and delays to what is already a multi year, multi million dollar project.

This is a “working title” it captures the point that the facility is a district wide asset and its focus is to benefit the community as a whole not just Balclutha. It is a central place to provide exposure to all facets of what the district has to offer and encourage visits to not only the current tourist destinations. It’s about providing a platform to drive new opportunity and provide more reasons to keep youth returning to execute ideas rather than moving on. It’s to be a central point to stimulate conversations, and help enhance a sense of community. It’s to be a space that everyone can enjoy and benefit from some facet of what it has to offer.

This may or may not be the final name once the doors open.

Contact us

Additional information

Want to learn more?

Business Case June 2019 (pdf)
Feasibility Study Report (pdf)