Sir Neil Cossons, the Dunedin Gasworks Museum patron and
a British-based international authority on industrial heritage,
will be a keynote speaker at a conference marking the 150th
anniversary of the gasworks later this year.
Founded in 1863, the gasworks was the first of its kind in
New Zealand and was once used to light all of Dunedin.
The gasworks was the last in the country to close, in 1987,
and the subsequent gasworks museum had been internationally
recognised as the ''best example of a town gasworks'',
Southern Heritage Trust founder and conference convener Ann
Barsby said the Gasworks150 Symposium was the first big
national event to focus on the gasworks and was strongly
supported by the heritage trust.
It is planned to hold the three-day event at the Toitu Otago
Settlers Museum, starting on October 3, and bringing together
from throughout the country people with an interest in
industrial heritage, including archaeologists, architects,
archivists, historians, and local government leaders.
The gathering will focus on ''Heritage-Led Regeneration''.
The Gasworks Museum will host an associated two-day heritage
festival, starting on October 5, which will include a
celebration of dance, art and photographic exhibitions.
Mrs Barsby said the symposium and festival were a ''major
leap'' forward for the museum, which offered ''world-class
After earlier frustrations and delays, the
reopening of the museum's restored ''Fitting Shop'' building
in October 2011 had proved a positive turning point in
efforts to develop the museum.
She hoped the museum would be further developed as a leading
attraction among the city's heritage tourism assets.
About $2 million was needed to repair and restore some other
buildings and structures on site and enable the museum to
open to the public throughout the week.
Volunteers interested in helping with the two events are
being sought, and more information is available on the
internet at www.gasworks150.org.nz