Bank will name new Dieppe arena after giving $1M to project

Uni Financial Cooperation CEO Robert Moreau, left, and Go Dieppe fundraising campaign co-chair Annick Laforge reveal the company’s $1-million donation to Dieppe’s planned arena complex. (Shane Magee/CBC)

Dieppe’s new arena complex will be named by a bank after Uni Financial Cooperation donated $1 million to the project set to begin construction this fall.

The name will be announced later in the year, although a news release Thursday said the complex would “bear Uni’s name.”

Uni’s contribution to the $29-million project gives the New Brunswick-based bank the right to name it.

The project includes two ice rinks, an indoor walking track, community kitchen, meeting spaces and a greenhouse.

Dieppe Mayor Yvon Lapierre and representatives of the company announced the donation at City Hall.

“It’s a good mix, a good marriage — a financial company that’s oriented toward the community and a community that was in need of a major sponsor in order to move our project forward,” Lapierre said.

Robert Moreau, CEO of Uni Financial Cooperation, called it an “honour and a pleasure” to be involved in the project that fits with the bank’s community-focused values.

Go Dieppe, a volunteer group set a goal to raise $4.5 million of the project’s cost.

70 per cent of target reached

Bob Cormier, co-chair of group, said the bank donation is one of several that has helped Go Dieppe raise more than 70 per cent of its goal before construction of the facility.

“Without them, we’d be significantly less, so it’s a major milestone for us,” Cormier said.

Cormier declined to say what other major donations the group has received, but they will be named later.

The mayor said talks with the bank began about six months ago. Discussions slowed as the city awaited confirmation of money from the federal and provincial governments.

Support from all 3 levels

In April, the two higher levels of government announced a combined $16.8 million to build the arena.

The city will cover the remainder of the cost.

The planned centre, known now as the “intergenerational community complex,” will be built beside the Centennial Arena off Notre-Dame Street. A 2011 consultant’s report recommended closing the arena built, which was built in 1967.

Construction of the new arena is expected to start in the fall and finish by spring 2020.

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