Aigantighe Art Gallery, Timaru

The Timaru District Council engaged Giblin Group to undertake an independent feasibility study of its proposal to earthquake strengthen and restore the Aigantighe Art Gallery Historic House and to consider options for upgrade and extension of the 1978 and 1996 extension buildings of the Gallery.

The Aigantighe Art Gallery is renowned for its art collection and innovative exhibition and education programmes. Over 1800 artworks spanning from seventeenth century European art through to twenty-first century New Zealand art – paintings, sculptures, works on paper, ceramics and mixed media items, make up the Aigantighe Art Gallery Collection.

The Gallery is equally renowned for its landmark setting with the Edwardian House Gallery (Aigantighe is Scottish Gaelic for ‘at home’ and pronounced egg-an-tie) displaying the artworks in a unique and beautiful Category 2 historic house setting with original features such as the staircase, fireplaces, and stained-glass windows. Many stakeholders are of the opinion that the house is an artwork in itself. The Gallery is also situated within a beautiful garden of over two acres, where 25 sculptures are on display.

The Historic House Gallery was closed in 2017 following a seismic assessment, which rated the building at only 10% NBS (New Building Standard). The Feasibility Study looked at the viability of earthquake strengthening and restoring the heritage building and also took the opportunity to consider options for the redevelopment of the later Gallery extension buildings to address issues of back of house working functionality and storage of the Collection. Stakeholder engagement was undertaken to discover the community needs for the Gallery. This identified that additional exhibition space was desirable and a multi-functional education/creative space would allow for more children, youth-focused and family activities, social gatherings, workshops and participative activities to create, interact and connect.

The Feasibility Study found the restoration of the Historic House Gallery to be feasible and that identified options for redevelopment of the extension building should go to public consultation through the 2021-31 Long Term Plan. Council adopted these recommendations in October 2020 and gave the go ahead for fundraising for the Historic House Gallery to proceed to complement its own funding contribution to the project.

Since 2011 I have worked with Jenni and Christine on a number of highly successful fundraising initiatives in support of the Sarjeant Gallery Redevelopment Project. With their help and expertise, we have raised more than $28.8m from central government and Lottery sources. The Giblin Group are a pleasure to work with and have provided great advice on many occasions concerning communications and public engagement. I can certainly recommend their services.

Greg Anderson, Director, Sarjeant Gallery

Giblin Group supported Blue Oyster with developing a robust Funding Strategy that took into account the specific needs of our organisation and activity. Jenni and Jess offered substantial advice and support in, not only establishing this strategy but giving us helpful tools for implementation and always prioritised sustainability throughout. Their enthusiasm for our space and activity was truly felt and appreciated – our relationship with them will be nourished and valued well into the future.

Grace Ryder, Gallery Director, Blue Oyster Gallery

“As our thinking evolved, Giblin Group showed a steady commitment to deepen their understanding of our needs. We always looked forward to our coaching sessions which were stimulating and inspiring. Jess and Jenni became valued colleagues that supported and provoked thinking with rigour and generosity. They’re now not only valuable advocates for BATS but part of our whānau.”

Jonty Hendry - General Manager, BATS Theatre

“Jenni did a fantastic job in helping us to secure critical partnerships and funding support for our internationally significant Len Lye Centre project – what’s more we really enjoyed working with her.”

Barbara McKerrow - Former CEO New Plymouth District Council

“Giblin Group’s knowledge of government practices and procedures on a national and local level is invaluable, and I often find that they are well connected with staff and officials on all levels of Government. Giblin Group scopes their assignments well, provides accurate cost estimates for their services, delivers within the agreed timeframes and always deliver excellent quality work – no project manager can really ask for more!”

Kritzo Venter, Senior Stormwater Engineer, Wanganui District Council

“The work that the Giblin Group completed, in collaboration with our staff, was instrumental in the success the project has had in securing significant funding to this key City initiative. In particular we have found the experience of the Giblin Group to been invaluable in seeking funding from a variety of sources in an increasingly challenging environment.”

Lance Vervoort, General Manager – Community, Hamilton City Council