More money is being sought for the Regent Theatre. Photo by
The Dunedin City Council is being asked to commit another
$70,000 a year to the Otago Theatre Trust so it can meet the
extra costs it faces since the redevelopment of the Regent
The trust officially receives $59,200 a year from the
council's events and community development budget, but it
received a one-off $30,000 grant from the council this
The council owns the building. The Otago Theatre Trust
operates and maintains the theatre, although the council has
increasingly been contributing funding to ensure the building
is maintained at an acceptable level.
It now receives $100,000 a year from the council's city
property budget, to cover building insurance, warrant of
fitness and mechanical maintenance, although a deed with the
trust says the council is responsible for exterior
City property also pays the theatre's rates of $60,500,
although that is offset by a rates relief grant to the trust
of $15,876, and meets loan charges and depreciation costs
associated with the building.
The arrangement between the council and the trust is
partially documented in a service level agreement and
partially in a deed.
Council community arts adviser Cara Paterson said staff
proposed to update the service level agreement by July this
year so it clearly outlined all the roles and
responsibilities of the trust, the events and community
development and city property departments.
Staff had already included an extra $30,000, matching the
one-off grant given by the council this year, in the draft
2014-15 budget, but recommended the council top that up by a
For the past three years, the trust had indicated the current
level of support was not adequately matching increased costs,
especially compliance costs related specifically to the
redevelopment of the theatre in 2011, she said.
She noted other cities covered the operational costs of their
In Invercargill, for example, the Civic Theatre was
council-owned and managed and funded 30% by user charges and
70% by rates.
The $59,200 officially provided by the council through the
trust's service level agreement equated to about 5.75% of the
trust's total operating costs.
The trust had managed to cope over the years due to a large
volunteer contingent that worked on every level at the
theatre, but that could not necessarily be relied on into the
future, Ms Paterson said.
Councillors will consider the request as part of the
pre-draft annual plan meeting starting today.