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'Extremely versatile': the 15-year blueprint for historic showgrounds

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Some of us only visit once a year but we’re sure to notice the changes soon at one of the Sunshine Coast’s historic showgrounds.

Nine key recommendations are part of a 15-year blueprint that will see upgrades, additions and expansion of facilities at Nambour Showgrounds.

The Nambour Showgrounds Master Plan 2023-2038 was endorsed at Sunshine Coast Council’s latest meeting, mapping out a bright future for the venue, which held its first show in 1909.

The Queensland Garden Expo at Nambour is a major event on the annual Coast calendar, drawing people and personalities from across the state.

The showgrounds play host to five major events each year on the 14.52-hectare site, including the Queensland Garden Expo, a three-day event that attracts more than 35,000 visitors, and the Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show, held in June each year, with about 30,000 attendees.

As well as being recognised as the region’s premier equestrian facility, the showgrounds also hosts the Nambour Expo, Nambour Swap Meet, Sunshine Coast Caravan and Outdoor Expo, an annual rodeo, Collectorama fair, Gemfest, cricket carnivals, antique car club display days and Sunshine Coast Darts Club events.

Division 10 Councillor David Law said the new master plan guided the use and development of the showgrounds for the next 15 years and beyond.

One of the outdoor expos held at Nambour Showgrounds.

“The Nambour Showgrounds is a very significant regional facility which plays a pivotal role in the social and economic prosperity of our region,” Cr Law said.

“The showgrounds is an extremely versatile facility which serves a range of important functions, including a centre for major events, a facility for community and sports and also a crucial disaster evacuation centre during times of emergency.

“The 2023-2038 master plan focuses on the role of the showgrounds as an events centre and a community and sports facility provider.

“The facilities at the showgrounds are utilised by 28 local user groups who use the sports fields, meeting rooms and pavilions regularly.

“Balancing the many and varied needs of our regular user groups with our annual major events was one of the big challenges during the extensive consultation process to develop this new master plan.

“The population growth in our region is placing increased pressure on many local sporting facilities.

“The revised 2023-2028 master plan recognises this and proposes recommendations to help accommodate this growth and demand.”

Ziva Fitzpatrick, Cr David Law and Arianne Nijhuis at the indoor equestrian arena.

Cr Law said allocations towards implementing master plan recommendations would be made through the council’s 10-year Capital Works Program, along with seeking external funding opportunities – including grant applications and club contributions.

“The intent of the new master plan is to better inform future development of the Nambour Showgrounds up to 2038 and beyond, so ad-hoc improvements are avoided and community use and long-term viability are maximised,” he said.

The Nambour Showgrounds Master Plan 2023-2028 focuses on nine key recommendations:

  • Equestrian Precinct – significant upgrades to stables, parking and livestock space
  • Parking – some additional on-site parking to be formalised with further considerations for off-site parking opportunities (including park-and-ride options)
  • Main Pavilion – retention with some improvements to multi-use and evacuation centre functions
  • Lapidary Club – facilitate expansion opportunities
  • Ray Grace Pavilion – consideration for options to enhance its role in providing trade and exhibition space
  • Badminton Hall – undertake functional improvements
  • School building – undertake modifications to provide increased multi-use opportunities
  • Wallace and Nicklin buildings – Wallace Building to be removed in the long term and the ongoing function of the Nicklin building to be confirmed
  • JD Grimes Grandstand – maintenance and functional improvements to the amenities and changerooms

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