Australian Government funding of $6.72m is to be pursued by Council towards the cost of a proposed $13,440,000 upgrade of C.ex Coffs International Stadium.
The bid is being made through the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF). Any grants made under the scheme are subject to an equivalent amount being provided by Council. Council would match the funds with $4.72m in loans and $2m from efficiencies generated in the last couple of years.
“C.ex Coffs International Stadium already enjoys a reputation as one of the best regional venues in the country. Every year it hosts top tier elite sport events, while also still catering to community activities such as school carnivals and local sports finals,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Denise Knight. “Of the $30million that sport brings to our region each year, around $19million can be directly attributed to events at the Stadium. “The recent addition of broadcast quality lighting has seen the Stadium attract even more major events – such as our first A-League/W-League double-header which was broadcast live. But with no significant investment in the grandstand, or the facilities for players, spectators, media and officials, corporate hospitality options, parking and refreshments areas for more than 20 years, we have to look at ways for the Stadium to maintain its ranking as a top regional and national venue into the future.”
The proposed project will:
- Upgrade facilities to enhance the user experience with a 200% increase in formal seating and technology improvements for spectators, accessibility, amenities, catering outlets, parking and pedestrian integration.
- Cater for a varied range of sporting events at all levels with improved player facilities and the introduction of corporate hospitality rooms and upgrades to broadcasting and media facilities to complement the 1500 lux broadcast lighting.
- Provide new revenue opportunities and direct economic benefit to the local economy from a diversified event portfolio, including additional employment during construction and well into the future.
- Maximise opportunities for environmental sustainability.
- Enhance our regional amenity as an attractive place to live and provide opportunities to further community and social inclusion.
- Allow Coffs Harbour to continue to be competitive and attractive as a destination for major events.
The concept plans were developed after consultation with key sport user groups to ensure any new facilities meet the needs of a wide range of sports at an elite level. If successful in the bid, further consultation will take place during the detailed design stages.
In addition, Council is also applying for $250,000 from the BBRF towards the $500,000 cost of a planned Woolgoolga Beach Reserve Community Infrastructure Improvement Programme. The project includes the demolition of old and dilapidated infrastructure, the construction of new public amenities, pedestrian pathways and the relocation of the existing children’s playground, as per the Woolgoolga Beach Reserve Plan of Management.
These projects were chosen for this BBRF round as they best fit the eligibility and assessment criteria. If successful, Council will be informed later this year.