Rockhampton’s Heritage Village has taken a key step towards reopening following the update report adopted by Council yesterday.
Councillor for Communities, Drew Wickerson, said the report presented findings from a business review that has been months in the making, and that he was enthusiastic with the progress made.
“This first step has always been about building a strong foundation we can build on to set up the future of this wonderful facility,” Cr Wickerson said.
“This has involved a lot of going over the governance, finances and processes to make sure we have that right before we move onto the development aspects, some of which we have flagged in today’s report with the next capital upgrades.
“The capital upgrades will involve things such as signage, gardens, and entrance improvements and we will announce more plans and details as the project progresses.
“It was necessary as a result of COVID-19 for Council to temporarily close the Heritage Village and this time has given us the opportunity to undertake a comprehensive review to determine how best to move forward with this much loved community facility.
“For example, the review highlighted that functions at the Shearing Shed operate at a significant financial loss and we can make operational savings by trialling a dry-hire model going forward.”
He said the model would allow people to hire the Shearing Shed and organise their own catering for events.
“Not only will this save Council, and ratepayers, money, it will also mean that we will be supporting local companies who will instead provide the catering for events, so it’s a win-win really.”
Cr Wickerson said it was important for consultation with staff, volunteers and stakeholders to occur before the reopening.
“This next stage of consultation needs to be carried out before we can focus on a reopening,” he said.
“I especially want to thank our wonderful volunteers for their patience while we have carried out the business review, they are incredibly passionate about the future of the Heritage Village and we look forward to consulting with them in the coming weeks.
“I am extremely pleased that we will be re-opening the doors to the community in the very near future – keep an eye out for more updates soon.”