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Published: 2011-12-13 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council today approved the funding deed setting out conditions that must be met before it will grant $6 million to the national cycling centre of excellence.

Acting chairman Simon Friar said the council had agreed to contribute funds to the centre on 14 September, subject to several conditions, and was now formalising these terms and conditions on which it would provide funds to the Home of Cycling Trust to build the $28.5 million cycling centre near Cambridge.

He said the council would not fund the project if the trust was unable to meet key conditions, including the establishment of a satisfactory trust structure, confirmation of secured funding to ensure the successful completion of the project and sound governance and project management.

“There are several conditions written into the deed that safeguard ratepayers’ interests in the funding of the cycling centre of excellence,” Cr Friar said.

“The trust is working on meeting these conditions and expects to report progress to the council ahead of confirmation by June that it has been able to satisfy all the conditions of the funding deed.”

A question mark currently hangs over the trust’s eligibility to register as a charity. However, the council’s legal advice is the trust can change its structure, while retaining its purpose. The only impact would be that the trust would have to pay tax and donations to the trust would not be tax deductible.

The council agreed that should the trust be unable to achieve charitable status, any change to its structure must incorporate its original objectives.

A second key condition of funding hinges on the trust being able to prove it has sufficient funding to complete the project. It’s possible the centre could be built on a staged basis providing there is adequate funding to complete stages without compromising the overall project outcomes.

In a letter, trust chief executive Geoff Balme said little new funding had been secured since mid-September but he was confident the trust would raise the necessary funds in time to start the detailed design and associated costings in April.

Following completion of the detailed design, the council will be seeking confirmation from an independent expert that the cost of the project remains within the originally proposed $28.5 million, and that the governance and project management for the project are best practice.

Further conditions include:

  • the necessary resource consents to build and complete the project
  • a satisfactory business plan
  • a construction contract approved by the independent expert
  • signed sale and purchase agreement between the trust and St Peter’s School for the land on which the cycling centre is to be built
  • confirmation that the trust comprises suitably qualified trustees with the skills and experience required to oversight the construction of the building and implementation of the business plan
  • adequate insurance cover.

The council agreed that subject to the trust meeting the above terms and conditions, the chief executive was authorised to make the $6 million grant payment in instalments according to project milestones still to be confirmed.