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Event centre in Oamaru one step closer to becoming a reality

Another step has been taken in the journey to build the Waitaki Event Centre with the first stage of the procurement process to start.

The project, set to host six full-sized basketball courts under a roof in Taward St, Oamaru, has been fundraising over the past few months and further work to raise funds has been carried out.

The project has been set at a cost of about $25 million but may rise to $32 million depending on the final design and costs of materials.

The Waitaki Event Centre Trust recently applied to the Lottery Community Facilities fund. This will be followed by applications to the Otago Community Trust and a further application to the Lotteries Significant Projects fund when it opens in 2023.

The trust has put a huge effort into fundraising for the council securing more than $21 million to date.

"We still have some way to go to reach our target but with council help we are confident we can ensure that the Network Waitaki Event Centre is an absolute success," trustee Adair Craik said in a statement.

"This is a really exciting time for the whole Waitaki District. We still need heaps more support," Ms Craik said.

With funding applications in hand, the council would be starting the first stage of the procurement process to find a contractor for the design and build of the centre.

Expressions of interest from contractors would be sought before Christmas with the expectation that three shortlisted companies would then be requested to provide proposals to the council in the new year.

"We continue to target 2024 for completion of the six-court centre.

"The Network Waitaki Event Centre will provide the community with a place to come together with facilities for club meetings, performances, conferences, sports, and activities for all ages."

By: Staff reporter

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