Plans to create a community centre at the former Mitre 10 building in Anderson Heights are a step closer.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council has made an internal submission to the 2021-31 long term plan for a youth and community centre at the building.

The intention is to lease the building for at least the next 10 years, and about $1.2million has been reallocated from other budgets to provide for internal fitout costs.

Costs of leasing the building would be met partly through existing grants that were already provided to community and sporting groups who leased other commercial premises, as well as external grants.

In the submission the council proposed it would manage the day-to-day operations of the centre.

The aim was to provide for community groups as well as operating some council sport and recreation services and programmes from the site.

Sport Central community sport adviser Kelvin “Tiny” Carruthers said there were 39 user groups that were experiencing challenges either finding or maintaining spaces for their activities.

He said it was encouraging that some money had been set aside for the potential community centre.

Sport Central had been working with five key groups Gymsports, Wanaka Trampoline, Wanaka Bridge Club and Wanaka Squash Club.

Those groups had already been identified within the organisation’s physical activity strategy.

“Those are the key five groups that we have been working with but there are also lots of other groups that have either approached us or I have approached just to consult and understand their situation,” he said

There was likely be a group of key tenants needed at the site and then there could be room for other tenants to use areas on a more casual basis.

Mr Carruthers said there was a “huge amount of potential” at the site.

It had ample car parking and a large indoor area, with the former timberyard and garden centre providing outdoor areas.

Ultimately it was up to the local councillors to support the proposal, Mr Carruthers said.