Plans to create a recreational hub in the Maitai Valley are one step closer to reality, with today’s announcement of a Government grant.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has approved Nelson City Council’s application for funding of nearly $500,000.

The $498,550 has been granted under the Tourism Infrastructure Fund to be used towards constructing a hub facility for recreation users, including mountain bikers and walkers in the Maitai Valley.

The Hub was identified in the Out and About On Tracks strategy and will provide trail head facilities for recreation users in the wider area, including the Coppermine Trail Great Ride. Discussions around the exact location, functionality and design of the hub are still underway between Council and the neighbouring land owners, Ngāti Koata.

The Maitai Recreation Hub was prioritised in the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan. While initially planned for completion in 2020, Council has decided to sequence the Hub project after the completion of the Recreation Management Strategy currently being undertaken by Ngāti Koata’s commercial arm and registered land owner Koata Limited. The Hub project will follow on from this strategy work.

A recent report analysing the economic impact of mountain biking shows that it is significant for Nelson, both in terms of bringing money into the local economy and job creation.

Chair of the Sports and Recreation Committee, Councillor Tim Skinner, says the funding is a real boost for the project.

“The Maitai is a beautiful area of Nelson that acts as a gateway for a range of recreation activities, including mountain biking, walking and trail running. As the popularity of these activities in our region increases we need to look at the facilities we have in place to manage the increased number of participants, both local and visitors. The announcement that our funding application has been successful is really good news. We look forward to continuing our discussions with Ngāti Koata and our other partners to finalise the scope and details of the project,” he says.

Hemi Toia, Chief Executive of Koata Limited says, “These recreational activities are important to the City’s economy, attractiveness and health, and it is also important to ensure that facilities such as the hub are suitably located to ensure that land owners rights are respected and acknowledged. We look forward to working in collaboration with Nelson City Council and other partners to ensure a successful outcome.”