Feasibility study completed for proposed Smallbone Park Multisport Facility
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
A detailed feasibility study into a proposed multisport facility at Rotorua’s Smallbone Park has been completed and indicates further investigations, including a draft business plan, should be progressed.
Over the past 12 months a working group comprising Sport Bay of Plenty and key sport stakeholders Rotorua Hockey, Springfield Golf Club, Rotorua Cricket and Squash Bay of Plenty worked alongside a consultancy company to undertake a detailed feasibility study to provide direction and guide decision-making around the proposal.
The study, the first of many steps in determining how far the project progresses, analysed the site and its context, site and facility development options, potential governance and operation models and a preliminary operational plan. The process clearly laid out stakeholders’ current positions, and their facility needs in the future were taken into account throughout the study.
The detailed feasibility study concluded the proposed Smallbone Park project has the potential to provide a true multisport facility approach that would meet many of the needs of the potential partner organisations, and establish a community hub for the entire Rotorua region. An initial business model also indicated the proposed facility is likely to be viable. Potential partners will now enter the next level of discussions and a detailed business plan will be drafted.
The working group stresses, however, that the feasibility study is just one of numerous steps in determining if the project will go ahead.
Investigations and decision-making regarding the proposed Smallbone Park Multisport Facility follow the detailed processes outlined in the Bay of Plenty Regional Facilities Strategy. The Strategy provides a high-level strategic framework for regional sport and recreation spaces and places (facility) planning in the Bay of Plenty region, and ensures appropriate investigations and consultation is undertaken to help guide decision-making.
The Smallbone Sportshub Project proposes bringing together four sporting organisations (Rotorua Hockey, Springfield Golf Club, Rotorua Cricket, Squash BOP) in a central location and within a multiuse facility at Smallbone Park. Collectively, the four organisations would play host to over 2500 members. The working group also invites interest from any other community groups that may wish to be part of the proposed facility.
The proposed concept acknowledges the changing landscape of sport and community facilities and, under the guidance of the Regional Facilities Strategy, takes an innovative and collaborative approach to the sustainability and future investment into community facilities.
Multiuse facility developments are encouraged by Sport New Zealand and are seen as effective practice for the long-term sustainability of community organisations. Research indicates the advantages of multisport developments include operational savings (shared costs), greater revenue streams, higher quality and more functional facilities, increased usage year-round (summer and winter sports), higher membership numbers and increased participation.
The working group will now move on to the next level of investigations which include a more detailed operational plan, design concepts and business case development. Each club and organisation will individually decide on a final commitment to the project once all investigations have been completed.
Zane Jensen - Regional Facilities Advisor and Community Sport Team Leader
Sport Bay of Plenty
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