Southland Museum and Art Gallery Temporary Museum Location Confirmed

Jan 03, 2019
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Southland Museum and Art Gallery temporary museum location found

The Southland Museum and Art Gallery (SMAG) Board today agreed to lease an inner-city building to house the temporary museum for the next four years.

The decision, confirmed at the SMAG board meeting on Thursday 1st November, is contingent on the Invercargill Public Art Gallery (IPAG) approving the plan at its next meeting. The IPAG board has previously approved in principle the collaborative project with SMAG.

SMAG chair Toni Biddle said she was delighted a suitable building had been found after a lengthy search.

The building on the corner of Kelvin and Don Sts (previously home to the ANZ Bank) ticked all the boxes in terms of location, potential exhibition spaces, access, earthquake strengthening and price, she said.

It can provide exhibition space of up to 400m2 and accommodate up to 118 people at any one time, Biddle said.

Some alterations to the existing layout would be needed, but it was anticipated this work could be completed within two to three weeks. The lease is expected to start in December.

The SMAG board had sought and received a valuation report on the building before committing to the lease, she said.

Biddle said the board recognised the intense public desire for a temporary presence in Invercargill and was determined to give the people of Southland the best possible museum experience.

In May, Invercargill City Council decided that an additional $200,000 would be added to the budget for each of the first four years, on top of that already budgeted toward the museum, to allow for a temporary museum presence.

Biddle said demand for central city space was increasing in certain areas as some businesses moved in anticipation of the proposed inner-city redevelopment, meaning finding a temporary space had not been a simple task.

SMAG and IPAG are working together to find a shared space for the museum and the art gallery.

IPAG is currently in Don St, but will need to relocate in December when work on the new ILT hotel gets underway.

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