After six years of planning, ground is finally breaking on a new cultural centre at Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens.

Members of the Lethbridge and District Japanese Garden Society, City of Lethbridge and other dignitaries, including the Consul-General of Japan, Mr. Shigenobu Kobayashi, are set to officially mark the start of construction at the site Friday afternoon (Sept. 11).

Officials say the centre will allow the Society to continue to grow programming and operations which will provide an opportunity for increased revenue while being less weather-reliant.

Construction of the centre is being funded through the City’s Capital Improvement Program.

Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman says it’s an incredibly important project for the community, adding “not only does this construction represent a boost in our local economy but it’s also an exciting evolution for Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens. This new centre expands the offerings at the Garden making it a truly year-round attraction for residents and visitors alike.”

The new facility is expected to open in the fall of 2021.