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Wanaka Search and Rescue is well on the way to raising the necessary money for a purpose-built headquarters after a $186,000 grant from the Central Lakes Trust.
Group chairman Paul Marshall said their building was attached to the old police station but with that moving, it was time ''look to the future'' for the organisation.
A plot of Department of Conservation-owned land on Ballantyne Road, near the new police station, would be home to the purpose-built headquarters.
It would include a storage facility as well as a dedicated control room from which operations could be run, something the group had not had before.
Mr Marshall said just over $400,000 was needed for the new complex and the group had approached other funders such as the Otago Community Trust.
If everything went according to plan, they would ''hopefully be raking spoil early next year''.
The Central Otago Ecological Trust received a $150,000 grant from the Central Lakes Trust.
It will go towards building a predator-proof fence at the Mokomoko dryland skink sanctuary, near Alexandra. The fence would extend the sanctuary from 0.3ha to 14ha.
About $300,000 was needed to construct the fence and trust chairman Grant Norbury said the trust was 75% of the way there. It expected to hear back from the Lotteries Grants Board at the end of this month and hoped to start building the fence in autumn.
A total of $567,924 was granted by the trust and other grant recipients were: Aspiring Beginnings Early Learning Centre ($10,000) shade sails and air-conditioners; Bike Wanaka ($11,775) track construction; Alexandra Kindergarten ($8906) playground upgrade; Central Otago Victim Support ($24,500) operational costs; Central Otago Heritage Trust ($24,080) for further development of its Memory Bank; Fortune Theatre Trust ($5000) for its production of Gifted; Alexandra Musical Society ($5000) for its production of The Buddy Holly Story; Queenstown Lakes District Council's Summerdaze Festival ($7500); Wanaka Community Toy Library ($3163) building refurbishment; Alexandra and Districts Probus ($2000) sound system; Makarora Valley Community ($30,000) hard courts; National Library of New Zealand ($100,000) digitising the region's old newspapers.