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Support in spades . . . Turning the first sod at the Eco Centre are (from left) Community Trust Mid and South Canterbury chairman David Forman, Sustainable South Canterbury Trust chairman Brian Gallagher, trustee Rhys Taylor and Timaru deputy mayor Richard Lyon. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

STAFF REPORTER

Timaru’s planned $1million eco centre at Redruth is a step closer, work on stage 1 of the project having started.

The site was blessed recently by Irai Weepu, of Te Runanga o Waihao, and the first sod turned by Timaru deputy mayor Richard Lyon. Community Trust Mid and South Canterbury chairman David Forman represented key stakeholders.

The council and community trust have each contributed $150,000 towards the $328,000 capital development of stage 1.

The $28,000 balance for stage 1 has been contributed by the Sustainable South Canterbury Trust.

Trust chairman Brian Gallagher said he was thrilled with the financial support to date.

“It allows the existing relocated building to be placed on to a foundation and made whole.”

The eco-centre is being developed on land next to the trust’s Crow’s Nest re-use shop and recycling centre. The former Highfield tennis and bowling club building has been moved to the site to be developed.

Design work and specifications for the project have been carried out by Rushton Architects Ltd, while Colin Shore Building Ltd is doing the building work.

Mr Gallagher said stage 1 was expected to be completed by March next year.

The former sports building will be developed as an education centre to teach schools and the community ways to live sustainably by employing measures such as waste minimisation, energy efficiency and water quality protection.

Mr Gallagher said the trust had further funding applications pending to complete the balance of the stage 2 work at the eco-centre.