Centre at Massey gets $2m funding Manawatu Evening Standard (New Zealand)

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By ANNA WALLIS       MONDAY 28 April 2003

The Government has given a $2-million tick of approval to the Manawatu bio-commerce centre.

The project - a joint effort between the Palmerston North City Council, Massey University and the region's Crown Research Institutes - has approval in principle from Industry New Zealand.

Spokesman Mike Booker said the contract still needed to be ratified, but the Industry New Zealand board had given the project the go-ahead.

The centre would see the Manawatu become the plant technology capital of New Zealand. It includes the "business incubator" concept for the nuturing of business ventures.

The $2 million funding comes from the Government's Major Regional Initiative kitty.

Palmerston North City Council is putting $591,000 into the centre, which will be based at Massey University.

The university is contributing the building, the former Practical Teaching Complex on campus. Other contributions from the university or the CRIs have yet to be announced.

Dave Gaynor has been appointed as project manager. He was formerly with Fitzherbert Rowe Business Development.

The centre is projected to become financially self-supporting in its third year, when rental income should reach $250,000 a year. That would represent 23 tenants and 90-percent occupancy.