2016 Media Releases
Long term plans on track to bring vibrancy to community and leisure site: Former Northbridge Bowling Club and Warners Park
30 March 2016
Willoughby Council is moving forward with long term plans to determine the best future use for the former Northbridge Bowling Club facilities and Warners Park Centre (Warners Park, Northbridge) and bring the site into vibrant community use.
This follows extensive community consultation by Council and Eton Consulting to help identify community needs, including a popular community open day held at the site in late 2015. Research into site constraints such as traffic and noise, community benefits, and economic and environmental impacts has also been conducted.
The site is made up of several components including the former Northbridge Men’s Bowling Club facilities (clubhouse, adjoining caretaker’s cottage, two bowling greens and a greenkeeper’s shed), which was returned to Council’s care and control after its closure in June 2015. It also incorporates the Warners Park Centre, operating as a local community centre under Council’s direct management since 2001.
At last night’s Council meeting, Council endorsed:
- A call for registrations of interest for a commercial café operator to be installed in the bottom floor of the Bowling Club building and bowling green. Council has resolved to receive a report on registrations of interest by August 2016.
- In the short term, the top floor of the bowling club building will function as a multipurpose community space for hire, with minimal upgrades. This will allow the site to be utilised by the community while plans for long term refurbishments are made and implemented.
- The preparation of a draft budget for master planning of the entire site in 2016/17, dependant on established commercial use.
Expressions of interest will be publicly sought from community groups and other interested parties for further use of the site, after the commercial tenants are considered, most likely in late 2016.
"The Bowling Club facilities and Warners Park Centre site is a fantastic asset for Willoughby, and Council wants to ensure the way it is used in the future is to the best advantage of our local community. It’s a large and complex site with many components, and we want to get it right," said Willoughby Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney.
"That’s why we’ve taken time and effort to do in-depth community consultation – listening to and researching the needs of our community. And the community has shown this is a site of importance to them, as we received a higher than usual number of responses and broad feedback."
"By installing a commercial operator on the ground floor and allowing continuing use of the site on the top floor of the Bowling Club building, it’s the first step in bringing in revenue and retaining community engagement with the site as Council works to determine the best future use for the open space and other buildings," Mayor Gail added.
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