May 14, 2012

ASB Community Trust Contributes $5 Million to Visionary New Theatre Project  

Auckland Theatre Company is delighted to announce ASB Community Trust will contribute $5m to the new theatre proposed for the Wynyard Quarter.  

The contribution takes the total pledged to the new theatre $21.7m. The total amount needed to build the new 600 seat venue is $35.1m.  

“We are thrilled to have ASB Community Trust’s support for this visionary project, which will provide Auckland residents and visitors with a world class theatre going experience for generations to come,” says Auckland Theatre Company General Manager, Lester McGrath.

In announcing the $5m contribution from ASB Community Trust, Chair Ken Whitney said the Trust was inspired by what has been achieved by working in partnership with other funders.

“The Trust is both proud and delighted to be able to make a substantial contribution to what will be a world class theatre for Auckland,” he said. 

“Large scale projects such as this inevitably require a number of funding partners to work together collaboratively to realise a shared vision.  In a relatively short time this approach has endowed our city with a number of iconic buildings such as the magnificently refurbished art gallery, Q Theatre, the Eden Park stadium redevelopment, the extensions to the War Memorial Museum, MOTAT and the Auckland Zoo, to name a few.  The ASBCT has made a significant contribution to each of these projects and we are excited to be an early key funder for the ATC’s stunning new theatre here in the Wynyard Quarter. 

“This is about building infrastructure,” Mr Whitney said. “The building itself is going to be a huge asset for our city, but what’s more important is the potential it offers to develop the region’s cultural resources. 

“ASB Community Trust has been a long-term supporter of ATC. We’ve also put a lot of resource into our emerging artists programme, in partnership with the Auckland Theatre Company. This cutting-edge facility is going to give those young artists something to aspire to.”

The new theatre will be located on the corner of Halsey St and Jellicoe St. alongside the new office building being built by Kiwi Income Property Trust which will house ASB Bank’s head office.

Designed by Moller Architects in association with Bligh Voller Nield, the new theatre will add a significant cultural dimension to Auckland’s waterfront.

“Not only will stimulate the ‘after 5pm’ economy in the Wynyard Quarter, generating additional spending of $8.59m per annum in the Quarter, it will fill a major gap in Auckland’s current theatre provision,” says ATC’s Lester McGrath.

The new theatre will share a public lane way, court yard and 200 studio theatre with ASB Bank, which is a cornerstone partner of the project.

Auckland Theatre Company will be the anchor tenant of the new theatre, using the space for 30 weeks a year, with other significant New Zealand and international performing arts companies able to use it for the remainder of the year.

ASB Community Trust join the new theatre’s other major funder The Lion Foundation who have contributed $1m to the project.

Detailed design for the new theatre is 90% complete. Construction is likely to start in early 2013 with the theatre opening in mid 2014.   

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