MP targets government funds

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Nelson MP Dr Nick Smith is targeting the government for support from a new Culture and Heritage Fund for the redevelopment of the Nelson School of Music.

Nick says the announcement by Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry of a new fund for regional cultural and heritage facilities is a real opportunity for the School.

“I will be doing all I can to secure a slice of this new Government fund for the redevelopment.

“The facility has an amazing history, is vital to nurturing a new generation of musical talent and is part of our cultural assets that support our visitor industry. The Nelson School of Music Trust Board is doing a fantastic job on the redevelopment but needs this support to be able to complete the approximately $6 million project.”

The $6.5 million a year fund was previously just a regional museums fund and the School of Music did not qualify.

Nick says cultural facity progress was made with the development of the Provincial Museum in 2005, the Theatre Royal in 2010 and the Suter Art Gallery now under way.

“Government contributions helped each of these projects and I have been frustrated at not being able to access similar support for the School of Music. I have lobbied for this change in criteria announced today and will now be working with the School to try to secure the funding.”

Applications for the new fund close on 1 July and successful applicants will be announced in August.