More support for Sarjeant Gallery

Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today.

The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday.

“Whanganui District Council will use the funding to support the increased cost of redeveloping the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui,” said Shane Jones.

The gallery and its collection are nationally significant. It is part of the vibrant creative community in Whanganui, and the wider cultural hub in the region.

“Educational opportunities will also be provided for those considering a career in the galleries, libraries, archives and museums sector, and local iwi will be assisted or trained in the preservation of heritage art.”

A previous $12 million PGF investment for the Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment project was announced in September 2019, with initial funding going towards the construction of a new wing for the Category One listed heritage building.

The gallery’s refurbishment began in May after several years of fund-raising for the project, including hundreds of individual donations from the local community and contributions from sources such as the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, the Department of Internal Affairs and the Whanganui District Council.

“The significance of this project to communities all over New Zealand is evident from the degree of public and financial support it has received locally and nationally,” said Shane Jones.

“This funding will enable the Sarjeant Gallery to undergo a specialist redevelopment, and preserve taonga on behalf of iwi and for future generations to come.”

The cost to restore and earthquake-strengthen the nationally significant building has increased from earlier estimates, due in part to work having to be completed sequentially, rather than concurrently as originally estimated.

Other costs relate to heating, ventilation and climate control associated with the safe storage of taonga and other art work, exterior cladding and an increased contingency allowance.