‘De­lay­ing the in­evitable’

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

A public art gallery at full ca­pac­ity has is­sued a friendly re­minder to the coun­cil to get on with its muchan­tic­i­pated li­brary and art gallery project.

The $16 mil­lon project was first pro­posed in 2009 and would have seen a public li­brary and public art gallery mar­ried to­gether in one high-pro­file river­side lo­ca­tion along Blen­heim’s Tay­lor River.

The Marl­bor­ough District Coun­cil bud­geted $14m for the new Blen­heim li­brary, with a $2m con­tri­bu­tion for the new art gallery, in the 2015 longterm plan, but fund­ing was later fun­nelled into wa­ter projects.

Mil­len­nium Public Art Gallery board of trustees chair­man Richard Wil­son said dur­ing the coun­cil’s longterm plan sub­mis­sions the need for a new public art gallery in Blen­heim had be­come ‘‘more im­per­a­tive’’.

Wil­son said the cur­rent gallery build­ing was ‘‘un­able to cater to ei­ther cur­rent needs or fu­ture growth’’.

‘‘After more than 18 years since open­ing, the Mil­len­nium Public Art Gallery has reached the full ca­pac­ity of its cur­rent lo­ca­tion,’’ Wil­son said in his sub­mis­sion.

‘‘The busi­ness has out­grown the build­ing,’’ Wil­son said. ‘‘We are un­able to cater to cur­rent de­mands or ac­com­mo­date new ser­vices.’’

Mil­len­nium Public Art Gallery di­rec­tor Cres­sida Bishop said the main rea­son for the sub­mis­sion was be­cause the busi­ness could no longer keep up with de­mand.

‘‘Vis­i­tors are miss­ing out and we were hop­ing to re­mind the coun­cil of that in our sub­mis­sion,’’ Bishop said.

She said the gallery still had to raise funds for its part of the project, but wasn’t sure how much un­til the coun­cil re­leased a de­fin­i­tive bud­get.

The coun­cil pro­posed re­plac­ing the

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