The development of Warkworth Showgrounds into a multi-sport facility still has several hurdles to clear before it becomes a reality, according to discussion at the annual meeting of the Mahurangi Community Sport and Recreation Collective.
Around 30 people attended the meeting at Bayleys Warkworth office on June 26.
Since last year, the collective has been working closely with Global Leisure Group (GLG), which compiled a feasibility report for the showgrounds development.
Auckland Council sports partnerships project manager Neil Coventry said that some of their proposals had come in well over budget, including a $5 million gym sports complex.
“There are a number of issues with their initial report – they haven’t hit the brief,” Neil said.
“Because there was a significant cost for the report they will continue to work with the collective to refine it.”
Cheaper options are being examined for the gym sports facility, including an extension to the Mahurangi College old gym.
GLG also recommended the collective establish a skills-based board over the next two to three years to replace the current one made up of sports club representatives.
However, collective chair Mark Illingworth said that process needed to be brought forward to ensure progress.
“A monthly meeting with club representatives isn’t moving us forward and leaves all the workload with a few people,” Mr Illingworth said.
Membership of the board remained unchanged, although the departure of Mike Lewis, the Warkworth Association Football Club representative, left a vacancy.
Positive news was delivered at the meeting, with Mahu Bike and Skate member Nicola Jones announcing that a $12,000 grant had been secured from the Rodney Local Board.
The money will go towards concept plans to be drawn up by the end of this year for the bike and skate park, set to be completed at the showgrounds late next year.
“We were absolutely thrilled because it covers the costs for both the bike and skate area designs, so we can take the entire concept to the public for feedback in a few months,” Nicola said later.
Warkworth Cricket Club noted that it is in discussions with Council about getting a cricket pitch between the showgrounds fields one and two for night matches.
Members of the collective board are Mark Illingworth, Ruth Mills, Gerard van Tilborg, Graham Buchs, Liz Davie-Martin and Toni Broughton-Johnston. Other members are marketing and communication officer Rachel Callender and event managers Nicola Jones and Cat Railey. The position of treasurer is yet to be filled.