The first week of June 2018 will go down as a milestone in the history of Momentum Waikato, with our first transformational project clearing one of its biggest funding hurdles.

In decisions made in their respective 10-Year Plan processes, the Hamilton City Council committed $25 million and the Waikato Regional Council $5 million to the building of the Waikato Regional Theatre. The HCC also committed to a $1.1 million annual operating grant, however the WRC decided against ongoing support for the new facility at this stage.

The total proposed capital budget is $73 million, to which Trust Waikato had already put forward $15 million and private donors had pledged $5 million, meaning the councils’ combined contribution of $30 million takes the committed funds to $50 million to date. Momentum Waikato intends to raise the balance of $23 million from public and private funding bodies, corporate sponsorship and individual donors.

Discussions with central government are underway and our initial forays to business sponsors and donors have begun. Grassroots fundraising campaigns are being developed so that the wider regional community also have the opportunity to contribute to this transformative project.

The Waikato Regional Theatre will define and transform the Waikato’s cultural identity and life for decades to come and be a catalyst for the economic development of local creative industries. It will provide a pathway to arts careers for young people from across the region, and bring the world’s best entertainment, for every taste, within easy reach of the heartland.

The next phase of the project is the ‘preliminary design’, due in September, followed by the ‘detailed design and documentation’ phase in February, and then the call for tenders in March. The planned opening date is June 2021.

We’re at a critical point, where every dollar in the kitty is being used to move the planning and consenting process along, so as a supporter of Momentum Waikato, now would be a great time for you to donate towards the Waikato Regional Theatre effort. If you want to know more, get in touch with our team.