The Cromwell Community Board on Monday approved the design concept for the town’s new events centre, moving the process forward to the design phase.

Concept plans presented by Chris Jack of Jasmax architects showed the total cost could reach $38 million, but he stressed the plan was scalable, enabling it to be changed in size, or built one phase at a time if necessary.

The proposed Cromwell Memorial Hall/Events Centre would cover about 2950sq m, and require additional funding of up to $16 million above the $22 million the Central Otago District Council (CODC) allocated in its 2021-31 long›term plan.

CODC planning and environment manager Louise van der Voort said the $22 million included $16 million for a new hall and $6 million for a museum.

‘‘We have had some conversations with funding agencies up to this point and we have an early indication of what we might receive,’’ she said.

‘‘If the board is in agreement, we will progress those conversations and see where they lead.’’

Good neighbours . . . Concept plans for the proposed Crom well Memorial Hall/Events Centre show the main auditorium facing the river to direct noise away from nearby residents.

CODC project property manager Darren Pesketh said external funding providers had indicated design approval would give them more information on which to decide funding.

After some discussion, the board approved the concept and advancing it to the design phase, while noting the costs associated with the project that were presented at the meeting.

Board members amended the recommendations, adding and approving investigation of salvage and repurposing options for materials from within the existing Cromwell Memorial Hall, and agreed to progress applications to funding agencies.

The concept design allows varied uses of the building, with a central auditorium containing tiered seating for 400.

The seating was designed to be retractable so the room could also be used for dances or unseated concerts.

A bar and commercial kitchen would be included, along with additional events spaces to cater to community and touring events.

Board chairwoman Anna Harrison said the inclusion of the museum in the centre would also mean the building would be used daily.

Demolition of the existing hall would not proceed without board approval, which was not given at yesterday’s meeting.


The board unanimously approved the three community grant applications (totalling $30,173.50) and one promotion grant application ($1520) in its first of two rounds of funding.

Grants were approved to resurface the floor and refurbish the church bell tower as part of the Bannockburn Coronation Hall and church bell tower upgrade ($11,270), towards reapplying fibreglass to the Tarras School pool ($5000), and build security fencing for a new Cromwell Menz Shed ($13,903.50), subject to suitable land being obtained for development.

With the Cromwell Memorial Hall no longer available, the Cromwell and Districts Community Arts Council was granted $1520 towards venue hire for its annual arts exhibition.