Support for Reefton Powerhouse Charitable Trust
Funding from DWC, which helped purchase a critical parcel of land, proved to be a key step in the Reefton Powerhouse Charitable Trust’s (RPCT) recent grant application to the Lottery Significant Projects Fund.
Greg Topp, from RPCT, goes so far as to describe DWC’s involvement as the “game-changer” in the long-running project’s timeline – and no wonder, as the Lottery funding awarded was almost $3 million.
That amount acknowledges that the restoration and development of the historic powerhouse will significantly enhance the heritage site, and that in turn will create
a unique tourism experience as visitors learn about where electricity was first made publicly available in the Southern Hemisphere.
This ambitious project has been in the making for many years, but is on track to get underway before the end of 2018. Once completed, the rebuilt powerhouse will be easily accessible from the popular walk from Reefton’s centre, although this too will be enhanced to ensure users have an interpretive, scenic experience as they enjoy the one-hour loop.
The increased experience with the redeveloped powerhouse itself is expected to attract many more visitors to Reefton, meeting DWC’s strategic goals to increase West Coast visitor numbers and the visitor experience.
Greg says the input and support of DWC made all the difference.
“They made sure we dotted all the “i”s and crossed all the “t”s. While that felt like a lot of time, effort and scrutiny at the time, it was certainly worth the effort. Without the careful process we may not have been able to secure that land, and without that, we know the Lottery funding would have been unlikely.”
Greg says the Reefton Powerhouse will add a unique tourism experience for the West Coast, and the site’s significance will be a huge drawcard for history buffs. “It shows the importance of the DWC funding machine, and the positive impacts it is having on our community.”
The construction programme to restore the powerhouse to its original splendour is estimated to take about three years.
In total, DWC has provided almost $700k towards this project.