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Vibrant Hamilton Trust has today formally made a $6M contribution to the Waikato Regional Theatre.

The project is being led by Momentum Waikato Community Foundation, and will see a new 1300-seat theatre constructed in the old Hamilton Hotel site on Victoria St. The project emerged after Hamilton City Council closed the ageing Founders Theatre in March 2016 due to safety concerns.

Vibrant Hamilton Trust is a council controlled organisation, and was formed after the dissolution of the Waikato Foundation Trust in November 2011. It was established for charitable purposes, and its mission was to deliver on the strategic aspirations of Hamilton as identified by the community and through the city’s strategies.

Mayor Andrew King and the Council’s Deputy CE Lance Vervoort are trustees.

As part of the Council’s 10-Year Plan decisions earlier this year it voted in favour of winding up the trust and contributing $6M of its remaining financial reserves to the Waikato Regional Theatre project.

Mayor King says the contribution of $6M, which formally occurred today at the Council’s Municipal Building, is a significant part of the Council’s $25M funding toward the Waikato Regional Theatre project.

“This is a major boost for the Waikato Regional Theatre,” he says.

“The theatre is an exciting proposal for our city, and it will be a major contributor to the ongoing transformation of our central business district. A funding injection like this gets us one step closer to realising the vision of a new theatre for our community and our region.”

Vibrant Hamilton Trust Chair Thomas Gibbons says the trust is proud to make a contribution to the theatre.

“Projects of this nature require bold leadership from a number of avenues,”

“Ever since the idea of a new theatre was first floated, the trustees were interested in how a contribution could be made,” he says.

“We’ve been deliberating carefully for a significant period of time, reflecting the careful nature of our role as both a charity and a CCO.

“We see the new theatre as a real game changer for the city and the region. We also hope that Vibrant’s contribution will be a catalyst for others to chip in to this important community asset – one for present and future generations.”

Momentum Waikato Chair Leonard Gardner says the Vibrant Hamilton trustees and the Council were embracing the transformational vision of the Waikato Regional Theatre project.

“Projects of this nature require bold leadership from a number of avenues,” Mr Gardner says.

“We know this decision to wind up Vibrant Hamilton was not an easy one for the trustees, and Momentum Waikato will ensure the proceeds are used well and contribute to the life and vibrancy of Hamilton through the Waikato Regional Theatre project.”


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