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September, 2019

Building a community services hub to house social sector groups
grappling with funding shortages and hefty rental costs in Queenstown is
a step closer.
The Wakatipu Community Hub Charitable Trust, formed in May, has hired
Wellington-based consultancy firm Martin Jenkins to complete a $25,000
feasibility study about a facility.
The firm has spent the past two days holding brainstorming sessions
with social sector groups, including Happiness House, Wakatipu Youth
Trust, Senior Citizens, Salvation Army and Citizens Advice.
The aim is to find out what they want from the tailor-made hub.
The trust wants it built within three years, probably in Frankton. Its
tipped to cost about $15 million.
Many resort not-for-profits feel the cost of renting an office is a high
risk to their financial sustainability, MacDonald says.
Its incredibly critical for some organisations who are facing losing
their current premises.
These organisations are here to help people, and should not to be
wondering how they are going to find rent or which premise they are
going to be in next month.
Two private companies and Queenstowns council have put money
towards the $25,000 feasibility study.
MacDonald says the hub must cater for a range of organisations tasked
with looking after Queenstowns diverse population.
Its essential it works for people of all ages.
Each group has a different way of working, for example, some have
clients who come to them, some go out to see clients, so their needs
are vastly different.
The feasibility study is due to be completed by the end of next month
and will be used to secure project funding from investors.
When we went to source funding for the feasibility study, people were
pretty quick to come to the party, so that was a positive sign.
While much of the design detail is still to be figured out, the hub will
boast meeting rooms and shared work spaces, with the potential for
providers to share office items like photocopiers.
Its likely around 100 hot desks will be needed, but the number of
consultation rooms is unknown.
Its a massive undertaking, but its not beyond us.
I firmly believe we can do it.
MacDonald, who is also a councillor, points out the project is
independent of Queenstown Lakes District council.

Source: Mountain Scene


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