Chinese camp vision ‘too broad’

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JACK.CONROY@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

With a change in leadership comes a change in vision.

The Clutha Leader previously covered expansive changes once planned for the Lawrence Chinese Camp, in a conversation with then Lawrence Chinese Camp Charitable Trust (LCCCT) chairwoman Adrienne Shaw in November last year.

Following repairs to the site’s famous “joss house”, projected plans included a visitor centre, a set of restored stables, a car park and perhaps even a cafe.

The entire project was projected to take about five years.

But new LCCCT chairman Geoff Blackmore said things had changed and some of the plans proved not to be feasible.

The trust applied to the Lottery Environment and Heritage Fund but was knocked back.

“Our plans were considered too broad. There were elements of restoration on the hotel and elements of new build as far as where the new visitor centre went. The funding body prefer you to do one or the other.”

However, all was not lost and the focus shifted to maintaining and improving the buildings already on the site.

Mr Blackmore said the trust had engaged a firm in Arrowtown to do drawings of floor-plans for the existing buildings to get a better idea of how best to go about this.

“The joss house is pretty much up to scratch now, with nothing too urgent needing to be done. But the hotel itself is very much in need of maintenance. We need to get information on the state of the buildings before we can decide what to do.”

The usual Chinese camp activities would also continue as planned.

The LCCCT received $2000 in a recent Otago Community Trust funding round, which would go towards the Chinese New Year celebration in February.

The trust is also involved in a “major grocery grab raffle” fundraiser with Centre City New World supermarket in Dunedin.

“That will hopefully cover our basic needs at the moment.”

“The winner of the raffle will have three minutes to rush around and grab as many items as they can, up to a $700 limit.”