Showground's multi-purpose role

Last updated 05:00 18/07/2013
Showground plan
DEVELOPMENT PLAN: The layout approved by the Rodney Local Board on July 8.

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A $4.8 million three-year development programme overview for the Warkworth Showgrounds has been approved by the Rodney Local Board.

It says the project has been progressing well during the past seven years and that development is at a critical stage.

Warkworth A and P Society and show secretary Marjorie Blythen welcomes the showgrounds development outcome.

"I'm happy with progress and we will be getting more community use which was the whole idea why we gifted the land to the community."

She says a few "hiccups" may still apply - "but you would expect that."

These may include Warkworth's development as an Auckland satellite town adding further pressure.

A round of public meetings about the showgrounds was initiated in September 2012.

The local board then held individual meetings with key stakeholder groups to understand their future needs.

It supports the Mahurangi Community Sport and Recreation Collective acting as the main stakeholder group for development of a multi-purpose complex at the showgrounds. Other recommendations adopted include acknowledging that equestrian areas are unlikely to be developed as sports fields in the next five to 10 years.

The Warkworth Soccer Club wants to use the showgrounds for overspill from its Shoesmith Reserve grounds. While showgrounds fields will still be available for that purpose, the showgrounds will not have a dedicated soccer field as such.

It is also involved with the collective so will be part of discussions on the multi-purpose complex.

It was suggested at the board meeting that the complex be adjusted in an updated plan to align with the Mahurangi Rugby Club's No 2 field rather than the No 1 field as fields two and three are developed as the club's main fields.

The Kowhai Art and Craft will remain in its present building and the Mahurangi Gymnastics Club will be supported to include a gymnasium in the proposed multi-purpose complex, with discussions expected to start on the complex's feasibility and design.

About $1.5m is expected to come from the Auckland Council for the complex, so some community fundraising will be needed.

Funding workshops are likely to be run in Warkworth by the local board in September but include a wide range of projects and groups.

A number of major funding agencies will attend to assist communities in a "one-stop-shop" of funding applications.

Meanwhile, Warkworth Town Hall funding of $1.36m was agreed by the council strategy and finance committee and further funding is advocated.

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The local board met at Snells Beach and usually takes its meeting into the community about twice annually, making it easier for community members to attend.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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