Big grant for Nelson School of Music


Restoration of the Nelson School of Music’s 1901 auditorium will receive a grant of $1.5 million, Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry announced on Tuesday.

The Nelson School of Music’s heritage auditorium was closed in December 2013  because of earthquake risk and fundraising is underway to strengthen, refurbish and reopen the auditorium. Construction on the project has started with completion expected in 2017 and Maggie says she is “delighted” the historic building is being saved.

“Culture attracts visitors and business and makes our towns and cities places where people want to live, and the auditorium, which will now be strengthened and restored into a state-of-the-art concert venue, is no exception.

“Throughout its history, the auditorium has been central to the cultural life of the Nelson region, and its closure has been a great loss.”

An important concert venue for local, national and international performers, the auditorium had previously hosted the biennial Adam Chamber Music Festival and other national events, including the New Zealand Composer’s Symposium and the Adam Summer School for chamber music.

The building was designed by Wellington-based architect Frederick de Jersey Clere, who also designed Nelson’s newly refurbished Suter Gallery, a recipient of Government funding under the old Regional Museums Policy.

“I am pleased this redevelopment will retain the building’s much-valued heritage features, preserving Clere’s vision for future generations,” Maggie says.