Romance in the city: The Milton Street Substation

Step inside the green doors of this ex-power station on the fringe of Christchurch’s city centre and you are transported to an industrial chic wonderland. The Milton Street Substation is a unique venue which provides a contemporary canvas for your wedding or event.



PHOTO: Rebecca Claridge

Despite being close to 100 years old, a clever makeover of the stunning Sydenham building has both preserved its heritage charm while transforming it to include modern comforts.

Containing different zones across a large entrance foyer, dance floor space, mezzanine floor, sun-trap balcony and rear courtyard – couples and hosts can style the venue to suit whatever their day includes.

Owners Clark Mauger and Romy Gunatunga offer a more relaxed approach, allowing guests freedom to use whichever suppliers they wish to bring their event to life.

“People are looking for a different format these days. Many are wanting a celebration/party focus rather than your traditional wedding. Not only to give their guests a new experience, but it is usually less expensive too,” says Clark.

Previous weddings held here have included formal sit down dinners, more casual walk ‘n’ fork affairs – and even surprise weddings! A double decker bar truck has also been parked inside, and catered by food trucks in the courtyard!

“It’s very versatile for different uses,” says Clark. “We wanted it to be accessible and easy for people, so we don’t charge extras for corkage or tie you into specific suppliers; we’ve kept it simple and let people do what they want and be creative.”

Amenities have been added to the building to allow caterers and bar staff to set up and prepare food and drinks, and beautifully renovated powder rooms add a touch of luxury, too.

A large, sunny balcony leads from the mezzanine and overlooks the paved courtyard, which is resplendent with festoon lights, elegant wine barrel bar leaners and planter boxers.

As a venue, it can host up to 290 people. For weddings, the beautiful upstairs mezzanine can host 100 people for a sit down dinner, or for those looking for a more relaxed party style wedding, 150 or more can be easily accommodated.

PHOTO: Susannah Blatchford

“The building has so much character, it doesn’t need too much in the way of styling,” Clark says of features like the iconic red brick, glossy black steel staircases and fluted, wavy tin ceiling.

The unique character is an inimitable backdrop for photos, yet its city fringe location – just off the Brougham Street end of Colombo Street – also means couples can easily whip up to the Port Hills or into the Botanic Gardens and city centre for photos.


PHOTO: Susannah Blatchford

With the ability to host both the ceremony and reception indoors the venue is also ideal for winter weddings, and bookings are filling up fast for 2022.

Contact Venue Manager Alex Balchin on 027 445 5588 or via for a viewing.


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  1. Peter McCarthy
    July 8, 2021

    Morena, just looking at hosting a comedy evening Thu 21 October approx. 7:00 pm for a couple of hours. Show in two halves, 45 min first half, intermission and a 30-35 min second half.
    This is a fundraising event.
    Prefer cabaret style seating with round tables or similar where people can have a drink and snack and enjoy the show.
    Presume you have liquor licence? Do you run a cash bar?
    We are keen to run an auction at half time.
    Require screen and projector and a sound system.
    Is Milton Street Substation available and what are your costs?
    Cheers, Peter

  2. Ian Knott
    September 15, 2021

    Hi Peter, I would highly recommend contacting them directly. at the following…

    0274 455 588

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