Media release 27 August 2019
Community Trust South is to invest $20 million in the Invercargill Inner City Development, helping to ensure the project will go ahead.
Trust Deputy Chair Lindsay Wright* says rejuvenation of the Invercargill inner city is a key part of the Southland Regional Development Strategy to bring 10,000 extra people to the region.
“A revitalised city is fundamental to ensuring we can attract and retain people in the region and will help leverage other development including new office space, accommodation and a medical centre.
“The Community Trust South funding has enabled the development to reach a critical stage in the project, which will ensure the future of our city.”
Mr Wright says the Trust has undertaken extensive and robust due diligence to ensure that it can support the community through this investment and maintain its ability to provide future grant funding support.
The project aligns strongly with the Trust’s vision for a thriving southern region and with its strategic priorities, which include community development and community economic development.
“We’re here to benefit the southern region. Our focus is to create positive change for our people, partnerships, participation and places. This project delivers on all counts and the Trust’s investment establishes a public/private partnership to make it happen.”
The decision also comes in the wake of the Government’s announcement of a $19.5 million Provincial Growth Fund loan for the project, which Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has described as a “game changer” for Invercargill and the wider region.
Trust General Manager Jackie Flutey says the Trust’s $20 million investment comes under its new impact investing policy developed in 2018.
“Impact investing is a new approach increasingly being used by other community trusts and philanthropic funders to deliver maximum impact above and beyond their grants budget.
“We are investing in a project that will directly deliver long-term positive impacts for the region, creating jobs, increased spending, opportunities for new business, helping draw more people to work and live in the region.”
*Note: The Chair of Community Trust South Penny Simmonds has declared a conflict of interest with the decision on the CBD investment. She has also declared that she has not been involved in the final decision on the investment.