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National centre of music moves step closer

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/05/2017

The creation of a Wellington-based national centre of music has moved a step closer with Victoria University's council unanimously confirming its support.

The council has approved initial funding of $10 million as its contribution to the first stage of the project, in which it is a partner with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Wellington City Council.

Town Hall in downtown Wellington. © Shutterstock Town Hall in downtown Wellington. The first stage involves the redevelopment and fit-out of Wellington Town Hall to provide rehearsal and performance spaces for Victoria's New Zealand School of Music and the NZSO.

The NZSO board has also confirmed its support for the venture.

Wellington City Council is seeking public feedback on the project, in which ratepayers would contribute $89 million to earthquake-strengthen the Town Hall ahead of the internal redevelopment.

It will make a decision in June.

The second stage, which has been approved in principle by Victoria's council, would create a centre of musical excellence and a central city home for the NZSM and NZSO.

Victoria Chancellor Sir Neville Jordan says the initiative is an exciting one for Wellington.

"A national centre of musical excellence will bring together the burgeoning talent of young musicians in the NZSM with the mastery of the NZSO, and fill the Civic Square with music," he said.

Sir Neville also said the university and the NZSO will need a successful campaign to raise at least 16 per cent of the project's overall cost of $187 million through philanthropic and partnership support.

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