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Fun on the way at the YMCA

Masterton’s YMCA building on Queen St. PHOTO/STEVE RENDLE

BECKIE WILSON
[email protected]

Pop group Village People may be long gone, but it looks like there could soon be plenty of fun at Masterton’s YMCA building.

Five Masterton-based community groups have formed a steering group to investigate the possibility of redeveloping the building into a performing arts centre.

The YMCA group has decided to not renew its lease in the building, but intends to continue to have a presence at the site.

The YMCA building is owned by Masterton Community Centre Trust but managed by Masterton Trust Lands Trust.

The steering group comprises representatives of the community centre trust, Harlequin Theatre, Masterton Amateur Theatrical Society, the YMCA, and the
lands trust.

Lands trust general manager Andrew Croskery said the community trust began and ran the YMCA building as a facility for the community.

Croskery said the demand for the centre had come from the theatre and performing arts sector.

“We would really like it to be used for community,” he said.

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson said it was positive the town had a strong performing arts community.

“Part of the reasoning behind our commitment to investing ratepayer money into the [town hall] civic centre project was to meet the needs of groups such as these in our community.

“I will say, we need to ensure that ratepayer and community investment is aligned and will work as a whole to meet the needs of our community.”

The two Masterton theatre groups, MATS and Harlequin, operate separately but recognise the potential to work together more closely in the future with the YMCA building as their home, a lands trust statement released on Thursday said.

MATS operate from its own property in Ngaumutawa Rd, while the Harlequin Theatre is based on Dixon St.

Stage one of the investigations will give the group a better idea on the potential for occupancy and revenue.

If that stacks up, another assessment of capital requirements will be undertaken.

The group is expected to provide the community centre trust with a report on the findings of its initial research next month.

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