The Events Centre was built by Hutt City Council as part of its plan to rejuvenate the city, which also included refurbishing and retaining the heritage of the existing Town Hall. Both venues are operated on a day to day basis by USAR Commercial Assets Limited.
Events hosted in the Events Centre and Town Hall in the last year, have included a variety of shows, conferences, conventions, expos, community events, championships and weddings. Events have ranged from the national hip hop championships and four school balls to the US Embassy Independence Day Celebration, the Home and Interiors Show, the Wellington Region Business Expo and World Vision’s youth conference. All up, around 37,000 guests have already attended events at the Events Centre.
Hutt City Council Divisional Manager of Promotions and Events, Carla Steed, says it’s a great start for the new facility.
“Hosting events makes our city a livelier place. You can already see the increased vibrancy the Events Centre has added to our civic precinct,” she said.
“Events also encourage growth and investment in the city and they increase social, cultural and recreational opportunities for our own community. The National Hip Hop championships brought 1,500 people here for a weekend which added an estimated, $250,000 to the local economy. The Eagles Golfing Society’s annual conference over four days saw 640 rooms booked out in the city. That event brought in over $300,000 through accommodation, meals, retail spending and local activities.”
Carla Steed says the Events Centre is gaining momentum with securing new business as well as successfully booking return business.
“The Events Centre hosted four weddings in the last year, and 14 are already booked for next year, so its reputation as a great place to host events is growing.”
USAR Commercial Assets Limited Business Development Manager, Shelley Bascand, is enthusiastic about the growth of regional events in Lower Hutt.
“A number of the events being held at the Lower Hutt Events Centre were, in the past, held in Wellington City. So it’s fantastic to see them happening in Lower Hutt.”
The Events Centre was also recently awarded a Qualmark Silver Sustainable Tourism Business Award and a Five Star Venue Rating. To earn the prestigious Qualmark, the facility underwent a comprehensive on-site evaluation against criteria focussed on specific service, facilities, safety and operating systems.
Qualmark General Manager Cameron Lawrence says “Any business that achieves Qualmark status has made the extra effort to deliver a product that meets superior quality standards and is likely to exceed visitors’ expectations.”
Hutt City Council Chief Executive Jo Miller says she was pleased to see that this year the Events Centre also received an NZIA Wellington Architecture Award in the Public Architecture category.
“Councils need to build facilities that will bring the most benefit to the local community, and the Events Centre is a great example of that. The recognition the Events Centre has received in its first year shows we’ve done a good job so far. I look forward to the Events Centre going from strength to strength from here.”
Set in the recently redeveloped Riddiford Garden, the Lower Hutt Events Centre comprises a purpose built 900 capacity pillar-less and dividable main space with full drive in capability and state-of-the-art AV and lighting facilities, a refurbished 800 capacity town hall, 3-specialist break out meeting rooms, an impressive central atrium and a 60 seater all day café and bar – the Tūtaki Café.