A new free-for-use community space in Invercargill could be the final push people need to get out and be an active participant in the community.
Invercargill City councilor Rebecca Amundsen has teamed up with the owner of the Grand Hotel in Dee St, Linda McGaw, to provide the kind of venue for a myriad of activities and events to be run by anyone in the Invercargill community.
“We want it to be accessible for everybody. We don’t want cost to be a barrier,” Amundsen said.
The space is in the hotel’s old Wool Bar. The room has not been used for years but is still in good condition, from the copper bar right down to the red carpet which adorns the floor.
While Amundsen’s committee is still putting together a few plans, she hopes the space will be available for community use in April and is excited about its potential growth.
“We want it to be an organically grown organisation. Maybe down the track we can look at generating income but that’s what we’d be looking at for the start off.”
As part of Amundsen’s initiative to bring in more people to Invercargill’s CBD, she hopes the community will take full advantage of the space by using it for anything and everything.
“I’d like to really see it as a space that attracts a lot of activity and a lot of people.”
The idea is to be able to give an average Joe the opportunity to engage in community spirit, whether it be through a brand practice, a workshop of sorts or even a market day.
If anything held in the Wool Bar ends up making a bit of money, Amundsen asks that a koha be given back to McGaw as an act of gratitude.
“If you’re doing something in the space and you’re charging people for it we would expect you would pay something for it,” she said.
With potentially all sorts of activities, interactions, meetings and events taking place in the Wool Bar, Amundsen hopes it will create an open and influential community where people will inspire others to take a step forward to do or try something new.
“Lots of people have desires to do things but they can’t see where to take them and I’d love to encourage them to do that (with the community space),” she said.