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More than five years after the Runanga Miners' Hall was abandoned following storm damage, a $1.1million project is finally under way to strengthen the building before a major rejuvenation.
The Runanga Miners’ Hall Trust last year won a $408,000 grant from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).
After meeting certain conditions, the contract for the first stage of the work was signed last week.
"That was a fantastic milestone," trust chairman Paul Thomas said.
Tony Wilkins Builder got under way on Monday, and work was expected to run through until next June.
If all went well for the first stage, repiling would immediately proceed to seismic strengthening, as long as they did not have to dip into any contingency money.
The trust also has a Lotteries grant of $400,000, which has been rolled over. Now work had actually started, the trust would be seeking further money to finish it.
However, the PGF money had given the trust the necessary leverage.
"The PGF allocation was a game-changer for the project by enabling us to take the first giant step in the restoration of the building," Mr Thomas said.
- Brendan McMahon