In his last act as Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Gerry Brownlee has today announced the Crown will fund a pre-feasibility study for a new multi-use arena in Christchurch.

The Christchurch Central Recovery Plan provides for a multi-use sports and entertainment venue to attract regional, national and international events.

Under the central city Blueprint, the land between three city blocks bounded by Hereford, Tuam, Madras and Barbadoes Streets was designated for the anchor project.

Mr Brownlee says the Christchurch Stadium Trust, which owns the temporary AMI Stadium in Addington, will undertake a feasibility report.

“It makes sense for the Trust to lead this process, as it’s been operating the city’s only large-scale multi-use stadium for the last five years and has the existing working relationships, expertise and experience in the industry,” Mr Brownlee says.

“The Trust will establish a Stadium Trust Subcommittee – which will include Crown appointees and Christchurch City Councillor Tim Scandrett.

“This work will comprise of three stages – the establishment phase, the desktop analysis phase and financial analysis and modelling phase – and will report back to the Christchurch City Council and my successor Nicky Wagner by the end of July.

“I think this is an important step for securing another world-class civic amenity for Christchurch, the wider region and the South Island and I believe complementary developments, such as hospitality and commercial space, should be included.

“This will help ensure the arena’s use is maximised and activated at times when the venue is not being specifically used for sporting or entertainment events.

“Making sure this anchor project does not become a burden to ratepayers is an essential component of the Trust’s work and I look forward to their findings.”

Mr Brownlee says most of the designated land has been purchased by the Crown and negotiations for the remaining parcels continue.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says with the decision to demolish Lancaster Park, we are now in a position to consider the opportunities that the land the government has set aside for a multi-use arena provides.

“It is important that a pre-feasibility study is undertaken to ensure that we are able to deliver on a shared vision about what this could mean for our city and region.

"After all, as I always say, Canterbury is the sporting capital of New Zealand. A multi-use arena has the potential to take us to a new level."

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