Levin Town Centre Transformation Strategy progressing

Published on February 20, 2024

Levin War Memorial Hall .jpg

As part of Horowhenua District Council’s Levin Town Centre Transformation Strategy, we will soon be seeking expressions of interest (EOIs) from property developers to reimagine the Levin War Memorial Hall, and potentially the Levin Village Green and Skate Park.

With no pre-conceived ideas on how the Levin War Memorial Hall could be used, as long as it has a positive influence on the town centre, there is the possibility to incorporate the adjacent Village Green and Skate Park sites if desired by property developers.

Councillor Piri-Hira Tukapua says, “The skate park is a much loved asset in Levin, and Council will ensure that regardless of how the space could be transformed in the future, our young people will have a skate park in central Levin to socialise and find a sense of belonging while being physically active and developing and sharing their skills. If developers propose to repurpose the site of the current skate park as part of their EOIs, a new one will be built in a different location in the CBD.”

The Levin Town Centre Transformation Strategy aspires to make Levin a more vibrant, resilient and sustainable place, and the revitalisation of the Levin War Memorial Hall site is just one aspect of how Levin will be developed and modernised as the town centre is by-passed with the construction of the new highway and our population continues to grow.

Councillor Clint Grimstone says, “It’s hard to imagine what our town centre might look like in the future, and how a space that we love and treasure might look different, but our community has told us to be bold and visionary. This is the first big move to cement a strong future for Levin’s town centre”.

“This is an exciting opportunity to revamp a significant and desirable location within the Levin Town Centre. We are in a tough economic climate, but to prevent ratepayers having to foot the bill for redevelopment, we will be reaching out to property developers to explore how the space could be revitalised to enrich the town for residents and visitors alike. Your feedback will help with the consideration of future plans around whether the Village Green and Skate Park are incorporated into development ideas, or relocated.”

Community members are invited to share their support or objections about the sale of the Levin War Memorial Hall, potentially developing the Village Green site, and moving the skate park to a new location (which will be determined at a later date if needed) by emailing Levintowncentre@horowhenua.govt.nz or calling us on 06 366 0999 by Thursday 29 February 2024.

The Strategy, developed and adopted by Council in 2018, sets out the guiding principles of Levin’s future development as the town centre evolves. Its vision is: “creating an attractive and vibrant urban town centre environment that supports economic growth, fosters community engagement, and promotes sustainable development, ultimately enriching the quality of life for residents and visitors in Levin.”

The implementation of the strategy was paused for a few years due to COVID19, but has now resumed and an implementation plan developed.  Reactivating or redeveloping the earthquake-prone Levin War Memorial Hall is one of the first key moves of the strategy.

Our community played a big role in the formation of the strategy, with feedback gathered between 2016 and 2018 helping to inform the draft strategy.  The Strategy has been revisited in 2023 with many of the same issues identified in 2018 still remaining relevant and a priority for Council.

Levin and Horowhenua are in an exciting period of unprecedented growth. With roading and passenger rail improvements planned to provide greater accessibility to and from Wellington, more and more people are recognising that Horowhenua is a great place to live, work, play and do business.   The next five years are going to see the district including the Levin Town Centre go through an exciting phase of transformation.

Editors Notes

The Levin War Memorial Hall was opened in 1956 following a decade of community fundraising and Council funding, to honour those lives lost at war. War Memorabilia was removed from the Hall and relocated to the Levin RSA in the 1970s.

This hall is currently available for public hire and used by our community to host markets and a range of other community activities.

The building is classified as an earthquake prone building, but a retrofit concept design has been completed that suggests the building could be strengthened to achieve greater than 44% of the New Building Standard (NBS).

In July 2021 Central Government announced a comprehensive Three Waters support package, with an initial tranche of $500M made available for councils to apply to. Local Government could use this funding to invest in community wellbeing initiatives that would contribute to their communities and enhance the environment.

In December 2022, Council were notified that their Better Off Funding Application of $4.99M was successful, and a funding agreement was signed in early 2023 for eleven Council projects that fit the criteria.

$2M of this Better Off Funding was allocated to the Levin Town Centre Transformation programme, enabling Council to progress this stage of the project without relying on ratepayer contribution.

Additional funding is provided for in Council’s Long Term Plan, noting that the Levin Town Centre programme plan anticipates to be largely self-funding.

Tagged as: