A place for more than just agriculture.
That’s what Gloucester Agricultural, Horticultural and Pastoral (AH&P) Association wants the future of the Gloucester Showground to be.
About 12 months ago, a ‘Showground Improvement Team’ was formed, bringing together representatives of the venue’s user groups, to help brainstorm ideas for updating the grounds.
The concept is to look at ways to expand the scope of what the showground can provide for the community.
“We want it to be a community centre,” team member Bruce Snape said. “Open it up to more events outside of agricultural.”
To do that, the group knows they need to make some pretty big changes, upgrading some structures and completely removing others.
“The showground is becoming a bit tired. We need to update and develop the facilities to make it financially viable into the future,” Bruce said.
Works are already underway, with new fencing and concrete pathways already in place. However, the big project, like a new undercover seating and bar area, will need a fair bit of funding. So, the team is in grant mode, working on designs for the 'dream plan', with hopes to convince a funding body to share their dream.
The goal is to attract more events with more variety to the showgrounds, like a music festival, broadening the scope of what the grounds can be used for.
Members of the committee are passionate about the showgrounds, believing it to be the ‘legacy of their forefathers.’ It’s one of the few showgrounds in the country that is privately owned, something the association takes a lot of pride in, and therefore, its financial future is important.
So, when the community rallies around them, it makes a huge difference. For example, when nearby neighbour, Ray Fitzgerald organised for free stadium seating, the committee jumped at the chance. They had priced 250 seats at $17,000, but were able to get 1000 for only the cost of transport to collect them from the Allianz Stadium in Sydney.
Bit by bit, the team is working on planning for the upgrades and ways to fund the future of the Gloucester Showgrounds.