Dominican Priory restoration fund gets $95K grant from Community Trust


The Otago Community Trust has approved a grant of s $95,000 to the Catholic Diocese of Dunedin to assist with the roofing restoration of the former Dominican Priory.

Otago Community Trust, chief executive Barbara Bridger said the Trust was pleased to provide support to the restoration of the category one Heritage New Zealand building.

“The preservation of the Dominican Priory will be a major enhancement to Dunedin City. It is one of Dunedin’s iconic buildings and its restoration will complement the growing interest in and appreciation of Dunedin as a heritage city.”

Last year, the Dunedin City Council Heritage Fund committed $100,000 to the project.

The priory redevelopment group has budgeted $900,000 for the project, $680,000 of which has been awarded in grants.

Despite needing a further $220,000, work on the project has begun.

The Welsh slate roof of the 140-year-old buildings has numerous holes which have caused water damage in some of the building’s 70 rooms.

“The interior of the building is largely concrete, so while there is water damage, the engineers have still described the building as remarkably sound.” Priory redevelopment coordinator, Sean Toomey, told the Otago Daily Times.

He said 30,000 slates has been ordered from Wales and would arrive in June.

“The funding really is the critical bit that has made it possible.”

The redevelopment team would not seek to redevelop the building’s interior, Toomey said.

“In the past, it [the roof damage] has maybe deterred people from taking it on.

“The limit of this is to make the building weather tight for someone else to take on.”

It was hoped the project would take four months, after which time it would be available for development.

“It will be absolutely stunning when it is done, rather than if it is done,” Toomey said.


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