Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Prime Minister and Mayor jointly open The Chamber offices

The new home of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce was officially opened on Thursday 15 September by the Rt. Hon. John Key and Hon. Lianne Dalziel at a special opening celebration.

Peter Townsend, CEO Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, led the formalities before the Prime Minister and Mayor unveiled the plaque, declaring the new facilities officially open. The Prime Minister and Mayor were invited to jointly open the building as a signal of local and central government’s commitment to work together on the rebuild of our city and central business district.

The Chamber relocated back to 57 Kilmore Street in July after spending five and a half years in various locations following the February 2011 earthquake.

“It’s been quite the journey since that devastating day. Our first post-earthquake residence was at my personal house in Holmwood Road where the team worked tirelessly to support Canterbury businesses to get back up on their feet. Six months later we moved to the Westpac Hub, then to Colombo Street, and now we’re back home … for good. Words can’t express how great it feels!” Peter Townsend said.

Construction for the new facilities started in December 2015 and was completed in July 2016. The building has an open plan workspace for their 30 staff and allows for future growth. In addition, it features multi-functional meeting spaces and two fully equipped function rooms which will accommodate the majority of The Chamber’s training courses and many of their events.

“This is the first time in The Chamber’s 157 years of existence we’ve had purpose-built facilities for our members. The Chamber offers over two hundred events and training courses every year which are attended by thousands of Canterbury business people. It’s great to be able to hold the majority of those in our new home allowing members to be better connected and supported by us” said Leeann Watson, General Manager of The Chamber and project manager for the facility rebuild.

“It’s been a long time in the planning so it’s wonderful to see it be officially opened today; we are extremely proud of the legacy we have created for our members. Miles Construction and Canterbury Property Investments Group have done a superb job creating a flexible and future focused facility. We must also thank those who helped us over the last five and a half years, and to our members for their continued support – it’s been an incredible journey.

Peter Townsend talked of the future for The Chamber and what a facility like this means.

“We’re a membership organisation who are about helping our members do business better. This is the beginning of a number of changes as we head into a period of transformation and positive change. We’re under no illusion – the business world is changing dramatically with the digital evolution - we are going to be a part of that to ensure Canterbury businesses feel well supported and have the necessary tools to continue to thrive.” Townsend said.

“Members have always been at the heart of everything we do at The Chamber. The new building locks in a future-proofed legacy for us; we are here to support Canterbury businesses long-term.”

Today’s opening was well attended by over 100 special guests of The Chamber and featured a ‘best of our region’ food theme. The Chamber is holding an Open Day on Friday 7 October for all members to view the new premises and be updated on the future of The Chamber. Members are encouraged to drop in anytime between 11am – 2pm. 

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