The remodelling and expansion of the Settlement Centre has been a long term goal of HMS Trust since 2012 with the intent of creating a fit for purpose, welcoming and modern environment to support settlement sector agencies and ethnic community groups to settle successfully. HMS Trust has been in consultation with Hamilton City Council and other stakeholders throughout the past eight years. Business cases have been developed and two feasibility studies (one in 2014 and one in 2020) were undertaken, along with extensive community consultation and consideration of options.
The project has transitioned over the past eight years from a hub concept in collaboration with a number of other community organisations, to moving premises to a community facility in Fairfield to a footprint expansion which would approximately double the current facility size. All of this activity has resulted in an extension of the footprint of the Settlement Centre which was approved by Hamilton City Council in September 2020. With this decision the Trust had the ability to move forward and design a building which would deliver on the long term goal and meet the expectations of all who have been on this journey.
In November of 2020, the Trust appointed Peddle Thorp as both Lead Architect and Project Manager for the building project. We also secured a significant grant from Trust Waikato to add to the Trust reserves. With this in place and positive conversations with other funders the Trustees made the decision to move ahead with the project with the confidence it would be completed by the end of 2022.
Resource consent has been approved and at the time of the printing of this report we expect building consent to be granted along with a number of registrations of interest for the building project set to get underway in the second quarter of 2022.
Next year will be an exciting time for the Trust to see this long term goal become a reality and for the ethnic communities and sector agencies to have a Turangawaewae that the City of Hamilton can be proud of.