The future sporting and economic needs of the local community are behind a major study of the options for indoor sports facilities in the region which has been endorsed by Coffs Harbour City Council.
This has confirmed that sports facilities, participation and events play a key role for residents and visitors to the Coffs Harbour region.
The Coffs Harbour Indoor Sport Study, carried out by Otium Planning Group Pty Ltd (OPG), came up with five key recommendations:
- Aim to meet the future needs for indoor sport in the local government area by planning for the establishment of 6-8 additional courts by 2036.
- Adopt a ‘balanced’ approach to meet local, district and regional demand by providing new facilities in Woolgoolga and within Coffs Coast Regional Sports Hub (facilities in and around the Stadium) in addition to retaining Sportz Central.
- Prioritise the development of a proposed Regional Facility (minimum of six courts) within the Coffs Coast Regional Sports Hub to meet regional event and economic opportunities, subject to further feasibility studies.
- Provide a two court facility at the proposed West Woolgoolga Sports Complex to meet current and future demand from the Northern Beaches area.
- To retain the current general layout of Sportz Central and undertake minor building upgrades as soon as possible to improve asset condition and maintenance.
These recommendations are currently not funded or scheduled, but staff will continue to look at opportunities as they arise.
“Coffs Harbour already has a reputation as a top choice for regional, state, national and international sporting events,” said Nikki Greenwood, Council’s Group Leader City Prosperity. “But most of that rests on our outdoor sports grounds and facilities such as C.ex Coffs International Stadium.
“We are more limited in the type of events we can attract for indoor sports. By developing and upgrading our indoor sporting facilities, we will increase Coffs Harbour’s appeal as a sport and event destination, which will bring significant economic benefit to the city.
“Equally importantly it will play a key role in helping young talent develop the skills that can take them to the elite level.”
Conservative figures estimate that sporting events currently inject approximately $30 million into the local economy every year.
Following the Study’s endorsement, Council will continue to work with all stakeholders on the agreed approach for future indoor sports facilities and to look at available funding options for the three projects.
Council also agreed to move forward with planning to a DA stage – in view of being spade-ready – for the Northern Beaches Multi-purpose Centre at the West Woolgoolga Sports Complex.