Showcasing Gloucester business plans

Expanding STEM: Samuel Cornall and Mik Wisely spoke about the plans for advancing the learning pipeline for many students. Photo: Anne Keen
Expanding STEM: Samuel Cornall and Mik Wisely spoke about the plans for advancing the learning pipeline for many students. Photo: Anne Keen

Committee members were joined by around 50 members of the community to listen to how the funds will be used to advance the businesses, during a meeting on Thursday evening (November 16) at the Gloucester Bowling Club. 

The fund has been running for around 18 months and the $2 million earmarked for the Gloucester business community is almost fully allocated.

AGL’s manager government and community relations, Amer Hussein said the fund has approximately $150,000 remaining.

“The fund is in its final round of assessing applications and we expect successful recipients to be announced in late 2017 or early 2018,” he said.

So far, more than 70 jobs are projected to be created for Gloucester with the up to 50 per cent funding assistance proved by the fund. Throughout the evening, each recipient spoke about their plans and how the fund has significantly made a difference in the ability to see the projects to fruition. 

Adam Forbes from G W and K W Forbes Dairy spoke about the ‘Kywong Flat Dairy Project’ which aims to create five new long-term jobs.

“This project has been a part of mum and dad’s long term plan,” he said.

Justin Hughes from Hunter Special Vehicles explained how the business expansion plans will provide for two new full time employees based in Gloucester.

“Thanks to AGL for helping me employ Gloucester people,” he said.

Ian Negline from Avon Valley Inn spoke about the plans to create a mid-range function centre suitable for 80 people and the need to employee additional young people.

Maree Grady from The Fox Den showed how stage one of the cafe renovations were already complete spending $60,000 on local trades and increasing local produce spend, as well as exceeding the two jobs due to be created, along with plans for more. The second stage of the plan, due to be completed in February 2018, will see even greater capacity created within the dining space, which will in turn lead for more jobs

David Blanch from Lone Pine Dairy explained how the expansion plans for the 100-year-old dairy in Waukivory will create two new jobs. 

“It’s great to see these kinds of projects help to keep the young people in town,” he said.

Gloucester High School relieving deputy principal, Mik Wisely spoke about how the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Pipeline Program will benefit students from GHS, Dungog High School and Bulahdelah High School by bringing them together to learn. He explained how the funding also provides for additional training for teachers like Samuel Cornall to help extend the ability of what can be taught to the students.  

“We want to see Gloucester grow,” he said.