Gov Invest Boosts Lower South Island Economies

  • Hon Kiritapu Allan
  • $2.9 million convertible loan for Scapegrace Distillery to meet growing national and international demand
  • $4.5m underwrite to support Silverlight Studios' project to establish a film studio in Wanaka
  • Gore's James Cumming Community Centre and Library to be official opened tomorrow with support of $3m from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund

The Government is continuing to invest in projects in the Central Otago District as part of an ongoing strategy to diversify its economy beyond tourism, Regional Development Minister Kiri Allan announced today.

A $2.9 million Government investment has been approved for the expansion of Scapegrace Distillery in Cromwell, to meet growing national and international demand and consolidate their three New Zealand productions sites into one.

"This investment supports our goal of supporting local businesses to do great things for local economies. The further development of the food and beverage industry in Central Otago will add to the region's international brand reputation," said Kiri Allan.

"The expansion of Scapegrace Distillery will create 218 jobs during construction and 24 permanent roles once operational and also aim to reduce emissions through deploying an electrode boiler, an energy efficient way of creating process heat without the use of fossil fuels."

The Government is also supporting the Central Otago film industry, with an underwrite of $4.5 million for Silverlight Studios' project to build a film studio.

"The screen industry employs approximately 16,200 New Zealanders and contributes $3.3 billion to the economy every year, making it a key component of Central Otago's economic diversification initiatives.

"Silverlight Studios will provide new opportunities for local talent to be at the forefront of an evolving industry in the region," Allan said.

Tomorrow, Gore will also see the opening of the James Cumming Community Centre and Library, which received $3 million support from government investment.

"In 2020, the Government made the best of challenging times and used the downturn in tourism as a chance to upgrade infrastructure. Just a couple of years later, we're seeing the results of these investments.

"Libraries are the touchstone of every community, and this library will serve generations of Southlanders to come," said Allan.

Notes for editors

  • Scapegrace Distillery's $2.9 million convertible loan is from the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund. The $200 million fund helps to grow regional economies by working with them to develop region specific projects.
  • The underwrite of $4.5 million will support Silverlight Studios with operational costs once phase zero of their project has been constructed. This will be funded through the $20 million Queenstown Economic Transformation and Resilience Fund (QET), which aims to support established businesses with proposals not related to the tourism sector.
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