Tamworth Regional Councillors will be asked to decide how to progress the community’s vision for a new aquatics centre with a report to tomorrow night’s Council meeting setting out options for its location, range of inclusions and a funding plan.
The report recommends Councillors endorse a site in the Tamworth Sports and Entertainment Precinct opposite Tamworth Sports Dome for a facility with two indoor pools – a 50 metre 10-lane pool and a smaller warm water program pool – for $45 million. They will also be asked to allocate $250,000 from Council’s Regional Development Fund to progress the design.
Tamworth Region Mayor Russell Webb said the report reaffirms Council’s commitment to providing two facilities in Tamworth – one in the Tamworth Sports and Entertainment Precinct to meet sporting and health needs and the other in the CBD for leisure and recreation.
“Our success in February this year to secure $15 million to fund the Tamworth Regional Aquatic Centre and Northern Inland Centre of Sport and Health through the previous State Government’s Centre of Excellence Fund means we are looking to move forward,” Cr Webb said.
“To be financially sustainable and in light of the current funding opportunities available, we have explored some different options and these are detailed in the report for Councillors to consider.”
“Since we secured the $15 million grant, Council has been developing its long-term financial plan and it is clear our original concept of a $62 million facility with a Council co-contribution of $47 million would represents a financial challenge.”
“Front of mind is that Council has signalled to our community our intention to talk with them about the need to investigate a special rate variation.
“It is clear that a co-contribution of $15 million using funds proposed from a loan or an alternate source is much more realistic and achievable.”
The report to next Tuesday’s meeting details three options for the Tamworth Regional Aquatic Centre and Northern Inland Centre of Sport and Health with varying levels of scope with estimated costs of above $60 million, $45 Million and $30 million. The report provides an analysis of each option and weighs up the costs in relation to the finance modelling and expected commercial returns against the functional objectives each will achieve for the community.
“Our Council has been talking about providing these types of aquatics facilities catering for all ages and all types of water activities for more than 20 years – it’s time to get things back on track,” Cr Webb said.
To read the full report, please go to www.tamworth.nsw.gov.au/business-papers
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