Reprieve possible: council to discuss i-SITE review

Lawrence Information Centre could soon be rescued from closure. Photo: Supplied
Lawrence Information Centre could soon be rescued from closure. Photo: Supplied
Lawrence Information Centre may receive a stay of execution, if new funding recommendations are adopted by Clutha District Council.

In September last year, centre operator the Tuapeka-Lawrence Community Company (TLCC) appealed for action from the council, saying the community and tourist facility would have to close unless additional support was forthcoming.

In response, the council commissioned a review of all the district's i-SITEs and service centres, carried out by Porirua consultancy Destination Planning Ltd, which will be discussed during this afternoon's corporate services committee meeting in Balclutha.

The report makes several recommendations for the Lawrence centre, alongside wider recommendations for improving efficiency and affordability of i-SITE provision in the district.

Key among recommendations is preserving Lawrence's status, ''with additional funding provided to the Tuapeka Lawrence Community Company for [its] operation ... ''

For future consideration will be ''relocating the Lawrence Library/Service centre to a purpose-built facility which includes the Information Centre and Lawrence Museum in Ross Pl.''

When the funding crisis initially came to light, TLCC chairwoman Mel Foster said demands on the company and its volunteers had been ''building for several years'', but remained optimistic a solution could be found.

''Given council steps up to support us, the resulting stability and sustainability will become a positive in the long term.''

Mrs Foster was unavailable for comment yesterday.

The council will make a final decision on the report's recommendations at a later date.

richard.davison@odt.co.nz

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