Howick Local Board has made a $40,000 grant to the Howick Gymnastics Club, which had faced closure after a recent rent increase.
The money from the local board will allow the club to continue operating through the next year, after which the situation will be reviewed.
“Howick Gymnastics Club faced the prospect of having to fold after its rent increased to $125,000 a year,” says local board chair David Collings.
“It’s crucial that doesn’t happen when it is going to be an integral part of the new multisport project at Lloyd Elsmore Park."
Collings says the club confirmed the grant would be a lifeline. "Howick Gymnastics has been self-sufficient for a long time and it’s a club that has not had the use of council facilities, while many others have.
"It seems sensible we help until the new facility has been completed. Help like this is only ever considered under exceptional circumstances, and facing closure is one of those times.”
Lloyd Elsmore multisport project
In the 2015-16 financial year, the club was awarded $250,580 for the development of a new facility as part of the Lloyd Elsmore multisport project.
The club’s current landlord has since indicated the $115,000 already paid will rise to $125,000. Operating under a deficit, the club cannot afford that, and asked for $50,000 a year for three years to continue operating.
The grant comes from the board’s remaining $79,000 Parks Response Fund, with the other $39,000 to be used for a Play Network Service Assessment to guide investment in play experiences across the board’s 69 playgrounds.
Staff have recommend expanding the original assessment to include wheeled play and exercise equipment.
Grant established this financial year
A $105,000 fund was established this financial year, and any money unallocated must be returned as savings.
Other allocations have been $20,000 for a geotechnical investigation at Mangemangeroa Reserve, and $7000 to upgrade the Barry Curtis Park skate park custodian service.