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Dapto Agricultural & Horticultural (AH) Society has completed its community consultation and is looking forward to 2021 and progressing into the next phase of its exciting plans for the future of the Dapto Showground.

“It is evident from the responses received during the consultation process that the local community is ready for the showground to move with the times,” Dapto AH Society CEO, Katrina Novak said. “With Dapto’s population growing rapidly, the economic benefit will be significant, with early estimates indicating more than 500 jobs will be generated if the draft masterplan is realised.

“The Dapto AH Society is extremely proud of its history, having served the local community since its conception over 160 years ago. Since this time though, community needs have changed, and the current design of the showground limits its use and is therefore under-utilised by the community.

“Our vision for “the Groundz” provides much needed amenities and green space in the town centre, which will in turn increase the usage of the site and offer a vibrant and exciting community hub,”.

More than 80% of respondents surveyed as part of the community 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.

“The Showground is a precious community asset, and the land will not be sold off to achieve these plans, instead, we will be seeking suitable joint venture and/or leasehold partners to assist us in achieving “the Groundz” vision and draft masterplan,” Ms Novak said.

“The Dapto AH is pleased to announce that we have partnered with Colliers International, to assist us to secure partners to assist us to deliver our planned vision for the site.” Mrs Novak said.

Colliers International[HR1] Wollongong Managing Director Simon Kersten, said his agency was excited to be part of the journey with the Dapto AH Society.

“Projects like this are truly a once in a generation opportunity and we’re honoured to be able to assist Dapto AH Society to take this regionally significant precinct from 1857 toward 2057,” Mr Kersten said.

Greyhound Racing NSW, which currently operate under licence at the Showground, will be included in the process and invited to submit a proposal.

“All of our current stakeholders will continue to be kept abreast of progress through the planning process,” said Ms Novak.

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