Group ILT has reached an impressive $200 million dollars of grants and donations back to the community, following their January board meeting.
This significant amount has been granted throughout the 78 year history of the Trust.
ILT group chair Alan Dennis said the board was “thrilled” to reach the $200 million dollar mark.
“Operating in the current challenging environment has made reaching and celebrating this milestone even more pleasing,” he said.
“Our commitment to working in partnership with our community has never wavered since our inception in 1944 and this donations total is something the whole community can take pride in,’’ said Mr Dennis.
ILT chief executive Chris Ramsay shares this sentiment.
“Our very purpose is for our community and we’re immensely proud to share this achievement with them. We couldn’t do it without the community’s support. Their continued support is always appreciated, but even more so during these remarkable and challenging times,’’ said Mr Ramsay.
The 200 million dollars is made up of grants towards a wide range of community groups, city infrastructure and noteworthy projects. From Shakespeare in the Park, Scouts and bike racing through Dungeon and Dragons, and everything in between.
One of the first recipients to receive funding in 1946 was the Caledonian Pipe Band, now known as The City of Invercargill Highland Pipe Band. The two groups have enjoyed a successful association for
more than 75 years.
“As an organisation, we look for enduring partnerships where we can grow and develop along with the recipients. Our ongoing support for The City of Invercargill Highland Pipe Band is one example of this,’’ said Mr Dennis.
Many landmarks and facilities around the city highlight the interwoven history between Invercargill and ILT. In 1969 the original fountains near Feldwick gates were donated to the community as part of ILT’s 25 year celebrations. Ironically it wasn’t completed for another five years.
More recent donations include contributions towards ILT Stadium Southland, the learner’s pool at Splash Palace and other sports grounds like the hockey turf and new softball headquarters at Surrey Park.
“The learner’s pool at Splash Palace was a project close to my heart,” Mr Dennis said. “ILT has always had a passion for supporting the children of this city. The learn-to-swim programme providing water safety skills is one way we do this and we are delighted that it has recently been nominated for a national award.”
Mr Dennis said another way they continue to enable the young people of Invercargill is through their own school.
“Enrich@ILT was born out of a collective need from schools to cater for students with special abilities. We are pleased to be able to meet this demand and provide a space for talented students to thrive,” said Mr Dennis.
Converting the Don Lodge into the educational facility for Enrich@ILT is a prime example of ILT looking to opportunities to align its commercial operations with funding needs. This was most recently seen in the gifting of the Clifton Club Inn to the Southland Charity Hospital.
Whilst still returning profits back to the community ILT continues to invest in Invercargill. This is seen by The Langlands Hotel, which is the largest development in ILT’s history and is due to open in the coming months.
“The Langlands Hotel, including all of the bars and eateries within it, signals our commitment to Invercargill. With international borders closed and a restricted trading environment, the focus is on completing the build so that the community can enjoy first-hand the vibrancy that this development will add to CBD,’’ Mr Dennis said.