Motorcycle collection aiming to be the best in Australasia

HWR Richardson Group property manager Sue Hill (left), project manager Roger Morton, from...
HWR Richardson Group property manager Sue Hill (left), project manager Roger Morton, from Henderson Construction, and Bill Richardson Transport World communications manager Andie Gentle stand in the area above the Meccaspresso Cafe in the Classic Motorcycle Mecca complex which is being redeveloped. Photo: Janette Gellatly
The Classic Motorcycle Mecca in Invercargill  is undergoing a major redevelopment and expansion to increase the size of its display areas, bring in new technology and add more motorcycles and marques to its collection.

It already garages the largest collection of motorcycles in the southern hemisphere.

HWR Richardson Group property manager Sue Hill said the group was aiming to transform the collection into Australasia’s premier motorcycle museum, by redeveloping the first floor above the Mecca. Bill Richardson Transport World director Jocelyn O’Donnell described it as "a very exciting year".  New spaces would  be larger and the displays would  also be different, she said.

As part of the redevelopment, which Ms Hill said could last until the end of the year, the entire building would also be earthquake strengthened.

In the middle of last year, the Mecca was given a government grant of $550,000 from the Tourism Growth Partnership Fund, which Ms Hill said had to be matched by the Richardson Group "aside from the earthquake strengthening" budget.

Stage one of the redevelopment was under way. Consent had been granted and demolition, reconstruction and earthquake strengthening were on track.

"We got consent for stage one on the Friday [a couple of weeks ago], by Saturday, we were under way, with the outside scaffolding up and work in progress.

"We are powering into it ... we have 11 builders on site ... and we are doing a lot of split shifts."

Stage two would be construction work and building, with stage three the fit-out and displays-exhibits.

Ms Hill said the revamped and new displays would show a wider scope of themes, interactive displays, technological improvements and have more family-friendly spaces.

The various marques had been "acquired through various generous donations from other collections" to broaden the collection.

"As well as some pretty exciting new bikes coming ... there will be a whole lot more technology and interactive content," she said.

Work was also being undertaken in the basement, with the aim of creating an access-way from Wood St.

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