Town halls, war memorials and other community landmarks across the country will be renovated thanks to grants totalling just under $12.4 million from the Provincial Growth Fund.
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says more than 1000 jobs are expected to be created during the renovation programme.
“Town halls, other facilities and war memorials are an integral part of any community and many of them in the regions have fallen into disrepair.
“People in the regions should have facilities and memorials they can be proud of and which reflect the communities they are in. This huge programme of works will ensure these facilities are in a good condition and fit for purpose. This will reap huge benefits and gives people renewed pride in where they live.
“At the same time jobs will be created for local tradies and contractors displaced by the economic impact of COVID-19. Although many of the jobs will be short-term, workers will typically be involved in a number of different projects in their region.
“This ambitious programme will help keep locals employed and boost regional economies.”
In total, 37 applications involving 97 individual projects have been approved across 14 regions.
Otago, the West Coast and Canterbury are the areas with the most projects approved – with an estimated 600 jobs being created across the three regions.
The other regions are Kāpiti Coast, Southland, Northland, Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Top of the South, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Manawatū-Whanganui, Chatham Islands and Wairarapa.
“Applicants have had to show that their project is important to the community, they can start construction activity immediately, and will rapidly create jobs and income growth,” Shane Jones said.
The money for the renovation of town halls and war memorials was earmarked in May as part of at least $600 million refocused on projects with more immediate jobs and economic benefits as part of the COVID-19 recovery.