The Provincial Growth Fund is investing to step-up tourism, job opportunities and environmental sustainability in Methven, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced.
The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will loan $7.5 million to support the development of the Opuke Thermal Pools and Spa complex in Methven to complement the neighbouring Mount Hutt Ski Field.
“The Opuke Thermal Pools is a big boost for Methven and will help the local community, including accommodation and retail businesses, enjoy the benefits of tourism all year around and not only in the peak ski season,” Shane Jones said.
“Small communities like Methven are reliant on the tourism sector and investing to develop and nurture new enterprises will support sustained economic development in our regions.
PGF support will lead to more sustained jobs for local people, making it easier for them and their whānau to stay in the area. An economic benefit study estimates that the project will create 120 jobs both directly and indirectly, and add an estimated $162 million to the area’s economy over ten years.
“The Provincial Growth Fund is creating jobs in the regions and investments like this one demonstrate the ability for Government to partner with the private sector to create new jobs for local people.
The facility will be the first of its kind in New Zealand to be heated by solar power and will produce no emissions.
“Support from the Provincial Growth Fund aligns with our objective of encouraging environmental sustainability, and exemplifies the work of local businesses and the community coming together to showcase their district to the world in a way that protects our natural environment.
The Opuke development has been met with enthusiastic support from the entire community, including local government and surrounding businesses.
“The Provincial Growth Fund is coming to the table to support a project which the community has shown us will make a big difference to their future economic prospects and aligns with the priorities of the wider Canterbury region.
“As the gateway to the bustling Mount Hutt ski area, the Methven community have thought strategically about their future and how to unlock new economic opportunities. The Government is proud to get in behind the community to support this work,” Shane Jones said.