Provincial Growth Fund helps grow iconic art in Whanganui

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Construction is well underway to refurbish the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare O Rehua, in Whanganui.

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has invested $12 million to improve the highly regarded and hugely popular art house with a collection of international and iconic New Zealand art, indigenous artefacts including iwi-Māori taonga (treasures).

The PGF funds will be used to create an extra wing. The extension of the gallery is part of a long term regional economic development plan to create better cultural opportunities for locals and visitors to the region.

Sarjeant Gallery is already considered a jewel in the crown for Whanganui and the PGF is building on that to attract more visitors once travel throughout the regions opens up more widely.

Prior to the gallery reopening to the public on May the 14th, they held a ceremony led by local iwi to lay the mauri stone. This marked the important role the building will have in future developments.

The new wing of the Sarjeant gallery extension will house the exhibition space which showcases a national significant art collection and taonga held on behalf of iwi-Maori.

The gallery’s refurbishment plan follows 10 years of fund-raising for the multi-million-dollar projects including hundreds of donations from individuals from the local community.

Indirectly, 135 jobs are expected as a result of the PGF investment and the expanded gallery.

The PGF funding will also provide earth quake proofing with seismic strengthening as well as general refurbishing of the original building.

Around 800 people will work on the project over the course of construction.

The PGF is proud to be part of the Government solution to rebuild the economy by helping the regions recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.