ILT sets record with $200m in grants given

    ILT board members (from left) Lou Evans, Sean Bellew, Ange Newell and Alan Dennis celebrate the ILT donating $200 million to the Southland community.

    THE ILT has set a record, giving $200 million to the Southland community.

    ILT group chairman Alan Dennis and chief executive Chris Ramsay both said they were thrilled to reach the $200 million mark.

    The landmark figure was announced at the 78-year-old trust’s January board meeting.

    It was made up of grants towards a wide range of community groups, city infrastructure and noteworthy projects, from Shakespeare in the Park to Scouts and bike racing.

    Many city landmarks and facilities had ILT connections, such as the Queens Park Feldwick Gates and ILT Stadium Southland.

    ILT communications manager Emma Hunt said it was a significant milestone in the face of the downturn the trust had experienced in its sales in the past two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Between The Langlands Hotel, the largest development in the ILT’s history which was scheduled to open this year, and a two-year downturn in profits, Ms Hunt considered the achievement to be an significant milestone.

    Mr Dennis said the ILT was passionate about supporting children with the Invercargill Primary School Educational Initiatives Trust listed, in the latest list of grant recipients, to receive $130,000.

    Developing the Splash Palace learner’s pool was also something close to heart.

    “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 continued to enable the young people of Invercargill was through their own school.

    Converting the former Sugar Shack nightclub into an educational facility for Enrich@ILT was a prime example of ILT aligning commercial operations with funding needs.

    “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,” he said.

    Gifting the Clifton Club Inn to the Southland Charity Hospital was another example of community investment.

    Year-to-date sales were $68.9 million which was better than the $63.1 million for the same period last year, but down on the $70.7 million in 2019.

    While the ILT was experiencing a downturn in bar and meal sales, there had been an increase in its bottle store sales. Its year-to-date profit before tax was $5.2 million compared to $7.2 million the previous year.

    Other grants made:

    • Athletics Southland for South Island Colgate Games: $5000
    • Southland Anglican Care Trust: $13,125
    • Diabetes New Zealand: $7500
    • Grey Power Southland: $750
    • Invercargill Primary School Educational Initiatives Trust: $130,000
    • Jubilee Budget Advisory Service: $3750
    • Phoenix Syncro Southland: $11,250
    • Southland Indoor Leisure Centre Charitable Trust: $112,500
    • Southland Softball Association: $11,250
    • Sport (Active) Southland: $15,000
    • Swimming Southland: $14,250.