$200k grant for historic pumphouse approved

HISTORIC: The city council approved a $200,000 grant to restore the former pumphouse building on Tuam St.

The city council has granted $200,000 for repairs and strengthening to a privately owned historic building.

The city council grant is for the former pumphouse on Tuam St in Linwood.

The building is of high historical significance because it is associated with the establishment of the Christchurch Drainage Board in 1875-76. It was part of the development of an engineering solution to address the problems caused by inadequate drainage and sewage disposal.

“In the mid 1870s the absence of an organised sewerage and rubbish disposal system, coupled with inadequate drainage, had become a city-wide problem, and the death rate from water borne diseases was high,’’ city council heritage team leader Brendan Smyth said.

He said special legislation was passed to set up the drainage board, which was then given the task of planning and building a drainage and sewerage network for the city and the suburbs.

“The pumphouse was a key part of that network and is one of the few visible above ground components left of that 19th century sewerage system.”

The owners of the building plan to repair earthquake damage and strengthen it.

“But that work is likely to cost about $1.5 million and they have no insurance pay-out to help with those costs,’’ Mr Smyth said.

They have also been given a $200,000 grant from the Government Heritage EQUIP Fund.

A full conservation covenant will be placed on the property as a condition of the grant.