The future vision for the showground, consisting of approx. 22 acres was developed following community consultation and inspired by various landmark projects that ties into the rich agricultural heritage of the site.
It will include several zones/precincts to create a family-friendly civic to be enjoyed by the young and old. Consisting of a multipurpose field, indoor and outdoor recreational offerings, vibrant hospitality and entertainment precinct, outdoor children’s playground, and surrounding pathways, parklands, and landscaping.
Old buildings will be retained to ensure an appropriate mix of old and new to keep traditional elements.
Current tenants, stakeholders, and clubs will form part of the revamped site, and the annual Dapto Country Show will continue.
Think: old style country feels with a modern twist. Rustic styling that provides a sense of nostalgia, timelessness, and adventure.
Green, Connected, Authentic, Playful, Vibrant.
Landscaped green spaces to unwind, and leafy gardens
Live music, food and beverage options
Precincts linked with signs, shady pathways, and festoon lighting
Family & pet friendly
Hall and function spaces
Parking and drop off zones
The vision for the site was established based on the current Private Recreation (RE2) zoning, learnings from the Dapto Town Centre Plan developed by Wollongong City Council and community consultation activities undertaken by the Society.
The bold draft vision will allow for greater community utilisation, participation, and enjoyment for decades to come.
The economic benefit is also expected to be significant, with early estimates indicating approx.500 direct and indirect jobs will be generated if the future draft vision is realised.
Take a look at The Groundz document that encapsulates the vision.
Refer below for information and material that support the future draft plan:
DAPTO TOWN CENTRE PLAN
Wollongong City Council developed the Dapto Town Centre Plan 2017 - 2027 in partnership with various local stakeholders. The project provided strategic guidance for the future of the Dapto Town Centre for residents, businesses, community groups, Council, and State Government agencies.
Some key findings identified that Dapto has a busy traffic dominated town centre that is centred on indoor activities. The streets lack comfort, pleasant atmosphere/experiences, and suffers from a compromised walking environment and underutilised town square.
The strategies and guides to help create a unique and welcoming town centre for Dapto include spaces for recreation, laneways to offer pedestrian connections, high-quality buildings and improved streetscape, local history and heritage recognised through art and design elements.
The Society recognises the opportunity to be part of the solution by delivering a series of precincts to create outdoor orientated activities, connected via walk-ways and parklands and a hub of community activities and offerings.
In 2020, Dapto A&H Society undertook community consultation which included an independent public survey completed by Illawarra Regional Information Survey (IRIS), market research, member survey, stakeholder and public survey, forums, and meetings.
The Society also engaged other key stakeholders, neighbouring and local businesses, schools, Wollongong City Council, and local MPs at various stages of the process.
The feedback and responses received indicated that more than 80% of respondents surveyed as part of the consultation process stated they would regularly visit “the Groundz” if it offered; a cinema; an indoor and outdoor family eatery; a café precinct; live music and concerts; restaurants and wine bars; and a large outdoor children’s playground and parklands.
Following this, Dapto A&H Society considered the long-term use of the site through a comprehensive options assessment and developed a vision in line with community desires.