The Government is continuing to invest in projects in Central Otago Districts as part of an ongoing strategy to develop alternative industries which are not tourism focused.
On Thursday, 23 March 2023, Regional Development Minister Kiri Allan announced a $2.9 million convertible loan from the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund for Scapegrace Distillery, as well as an underwrite of $4.5 million to support Silverlight Studios.
Scapegrace will use the funding to increase capacity to meet growing national and international demand for their high quality, boutique products and consolidate their three New Zealand productions sites into one. They also aim to reduce emissions through deploying an electrode boiler, an energy efficient way of creating process heat without the use of fossil fuels.
“This investment supports our goal of supporting local businesses to do great things for local economies. The further development of the food and beverage industry in Central Otago will add to the region’s international brand reputation,” said Kiri Allan.
The expansion of Scapegrace Distillery will create 218 jobs during construction and they expect to employ a further 24 permanent roles for ongoing operations. Around 70% of their stakeholders are in the Otago region, meaning that international success will be felt locally.
Central Otago is already world-renowned for its viticulture. The goal is that further development of the food and beverage industry will add to the region’s international brand reputation.
Minister Allan also announced that Government has approved an underwrite of $4.5 million to support Silverlight Studios through the Queenstown Economic Transformation and Resilience Fund. This investment will help Silverlight with operational costs, once the first phase of their project has been constructed.
The screen industry employs approximately 16,200 New Zealanders and contributes $3.3 billion to the economy every year, making it a key component of the Lakes District’s economic diversification initiatives. A key driver of both investments is to support the district to attract more talent to higher wage and higher value roles.