Fate of i-Site building in balance

SHARE
The former i-Site building.

The fate of the former Ashburton i-Site building will be determined this week.
Ashburton councillors will discuss a suite of recommendations for the building at their meeting on Thursday.
Amongst the recommendations is a proposal to allow the Information Hub group (led by Paul Mullan, David West and Tony Todd) to establish an information centre in the East Street building while work progresses on the CBD revitalisation project.
It is also proposed that the building should not form part of the town centre revitalisation project, and that it eventually be sold for removal at an appropriate time during the CBD redevelopment process. The Information Hub would lease the building in the interim.
With provision for an information service in the new Ashburton Library and Civic Centre (once built) already approved, the council is seeking to balance the desire for an information centre in the CBD, with its ongoing work to modernise the Ashburton town centre.
In a report to be considered at the meeting, the council notes that a refreshed and modern town centre could highlight the tired and dated appearance of the former i-Site building. Its location would also impact on a proposed cycleway route and appear out of place with the wider regeneration of the area.
The council has been in discussions with The Information Hub group since last year, which has been assessing the potential of sharing the building with Experience Mid Canterbury (EMC).
It is understood that efforts to reach an agreement between the two organisations to share the building has been unsuccessful. The council is therefore proposing to ask EMC to vacate the building and would help it find somewhere else.
The report proposes that the council could offer the building to The Information Hub on a one-year lease, with a one-year right of renewal, at the council’s discretion.