$200,000 grant for Deep Cove hostel

Deep Cove Outdoor Education Trust received the best present when nine days before Christmas it learnt the Community Trust South (CTS) had granted it $200,000.

Each year, thousands of school-age children stay at the Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound 76-bed hostel to experience the Fiordland region.

Deep Cove Outdoor Education Trust (DCOET) chairman Michael MacManus said he was "absolutely over the moon" with the news its application for a refurbishment project had been approved because it now allowed it to move forward with its plans.

"We have a 40-year-old building that needs brought back to life and made to feel new again.

"We’ve got some really big plans, but $200,000 is a really good start to getting us on the way to achieving those plans."

The hostel refurbishment project included installation of double-glazed windows, new building paper put beneath the roof iron and new exterior cladding.

"It’s about getting the place warm and dry and waterproof.

"You’re in the wettest environment in the world, so every little crack runs water.

"It’s not that water is coming in the building, it’s about getting it protected for another 40 years and structurally sound."

The DCOET had been working toward the refurbishment project for some time, but this particular grant was a big step forward.

Future plans for the hostel also included "rejigging" some rooms around, implementing changes to foster modern schooling and different styles of learning and education, Mr MacManus said.

Community Trust South (CTS) general manager Jackie Flutey said it had supported the application because the Deep Cove hostel camp had become a rite of passage for Southland school children which created lifelong memories, as they experienced one of the most amazing parts of New Zealand.

Other recipients of Community Trust South’s major grant round were Bluff Community Pool ($150,000 for its pool upgrade), Southland Charitable Hospital ($200,000), Waihopai Runaka ($300,000 for the Murihiku marae redevelopment project), and Queenstown Salvation Army Community and Social Wellbeing Hub ($150,000 — for relocation costs to the Frankton area) and Southland disAbility Enterprises ($150,000 for its recycling plant).

Bluff Community Board chairman Ray Fife said he was pleased the pool project had received a boost in the funds it needed to upgrade the community pool.

"I’m sure whatever funding they get, I’m sure will help a lot."

Operational changes had been made to bring it in line with similar small community pools around the country.

Bluff Pool Trust chairman Ian Sutherland said between the $150,000 granted by Community Trust South and the $75,000 the ILT Foundation had provided, the committee was looking forward to being able to move forward with a pool upgrade project once it had secured the remaining funding it required.

"It’s kick-started our project that we have the confidence to proceed."

The funding boost meant other people could see the group was now more than halfway to achieving the $480,000 budget needed to upgrade the town’s pool facilities, he said.

CTS granted the monies on the condition all the money required to complete the project had to be in place prior to releasing the funds, which would remain available for up to two years from the approval date.

Community Trust South chairman Mata Cherrington said the grants aided some significant projects through the region.

"Amazing mahi is being undertaken within the community. Each one of these projects align with Community Trust South’s strategy to see communities thrive and we are delighted to be able to support these projects with this major grants round."






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