Coffs Harbour Entertainment Venue (CHEV) Scoping Study

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The Coffs Harbour Entertainment Venue (CHEV) Scoping Study will provide Council with recommendations about a future indoor entertainment venue that will deliver the best outcomes for the Coffs Harbour region.

The Study will run over 2021-22 with the assistance of a project consultancy team in four sequential stages of work:

  • Functional Brief
  • Site Analysis
  • Concept Design and Financial Analysis
  • Final Scoping Study Report.

More accurate information about the venue will assist Council’s decision about the next steps to progress this project. Scoping (or feasibility) studies are critical components of infrastructure projects in order to demonstrate the rationale for future investment.

This page will provide information about the project steps, participation opportunities and how to stay informed during various stages of the Scoping Study. This page will provide the community with as much information as possible before asking for any further public comment throughout specific project stages.

Background

Entertainment and performing arts spaces in the Coffs Harbour area have been considered by Council and the community over many years, with different proposals and plans for various types of venues in several locations.

We know that the community would like an additional indoor entertainment and performing arts venue. The City Centre Masterplan 2031 identifies the City Centre area for entertainment and performing arts infrastructure.

This matter was last considered by Council at its Ordinary Meeting of 10 September 2020 where it adopted the Stage 2(a) Issues and Options Paper for Performing Arts Spaces (Indoor and Outdoor) Final Report and resolved to commence to Stage 2(b) Feasibility Study to determine the most suitable location, operational and financial model for an Indoor Performing Arts Centre within the City Centre.

Stage 2(b) has been titled Coffs Harbour Entertainment Venue (CHEV) Scoping Study to reflect the venue’s entertainment outcomes and the work required to scope the venue requirements.

The Coffs Harbour Entertainment Venue (CHEV) Scoping Study will provide Council with recommendations about a future indoor entertainment venue that will deliver the best outcomes for the Coffs Harbour region.

The Study will run over 2021-22 with the assistance of a project consultancy team in four sequential stages of work:

  • Functional Brief
  • Site Analysis
  • Concept Design and Financial Analysis
  • Final Scoping Study Report.

More accurate information about the venue will assist Council’s decision about the next steps to progress this project. Scoping (or feasibility) studies are critical components of infrastructure projects in order to demonstrate the rationale for future investment.

This page will provide information about the project steps, participation opportunities and how to stay informed during various stages of the Scoping Study. This page will provide the community with as much information as possible before asking for any further public comment throughout specific project stages.

Background

Entertainment and performing arts spaces in the Coffs Harbour area have been considered by Council and the community over many years, with different proposals and plans for various types of venues in several locations.

We know that the community would like an additional indoor entertainment and performing arts venue. The City Centre Masterplan 2031 identifies the City Centre area for entertainment and performing arts infrastructure.

This matter was last considered by Council at its Ordinary Meeting of 10 September 2020 where it adopted the Stage 2(a) Issues and Options Paper for Performing Arts Spaces (Indoor and Outdoor) Final Report and resolved to commence to Stage 2(b) Feasibility Study to determine the most suitable location, operational and financial model for an Indoor Performing Arts Centre within the City Centre.

Stage 2(b) has been titled Coffs Harbour Entertainment Venue (CHEV) Scoping Study to reflect the venue’s entertainment outcomes and the work required to scope the venue requirements.

  • Coffs Harbour Entertainment Venue Size and Scope Revealed

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    The ideal Coffs Harbour Entertainment Venue (CHEV) has been revealed to be a multi-functional hub that could hold a wide variety of performances and events including music, eisteddfods, dance, comedy, theatre, movies, conferences, expos and more.

    An outline of the size and community requirements the CHEV would need to meet were contained in the first stage of a Scoping Study for the project – The Functional Brief - which was adopted at the 23 September 2021 Council Meeting.

    A venue of this size and capacity would ensure it could attract a wide range of touring acts, accommodate special local performances and provide reasonable economic returns.

    Developed through consultation with industry experts and potential users, the Functional Brief recommends a minimum size of 2,500 square metres and a flexible performance space with raked seating for up to 700 people, or 820 in both standing and seating format.

    Now that the venue uses and size has been established, the Scoping Study can move to the next stage to confirm an appropriate location in the City Centre.

    The Functional Brief can be downloaded from the Document Library to understand industry feedback, examples of similar regional case studies, and what this means for the venue.

    Click on the video below for an overview of the Functional Brief recommendations and examples of future uses.

    Click here for latest media release.

  • Industry engagement is underway

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    The first phase of the Study is underway with industry stakeholders involved in developing a “Preliminary Functional Brief”.

    The Project team are consulting with a range of community performance and cultural groups as well as local and national promoters and producers.

    This Functional Brief is a key piece of work that scopes the design and size of spaces for a complete range of entertainment and social experiences. This includes all aspects of the venue from the entrance to foyers, amenities, bars and ancillary spaces, the performance spaces as well as artists and technical staff backstage.

  • Appointment of CHEV Scoping Study Project Team

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    Council has appointed a multi-disciplinary team made up of Hawkridge Entertainment Services, Woolgoolga-based Locale Consulting and internationally renowned architects Scott Carver, after a month-long tender process.

    This team has a strong track record of cultural infrastructure feasibility studies, as well as designing, building and managing live music and arts venues and know what makes a successful entertainment venue work.

    They have excellent networks with a range of producers, promoters, venue managers and more recently with the Coffs Harbour community on performing arts spaces and facility site studies.

  • Issues and Options Paper for Performing Arts Spaces 2020 (Needs Analysis)

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    The Issues and Options Paper for Performing Arts Space (Indoor and Outdoor) was adopted by Council on 10 September 2020. The Draft Paper was open for public exhibition period between December 2019 - February 2020.

    This Paper (included in this page's Document Library) provides an assessment of current performance and entertainment spaces / venues in the LGA and includes information about venue requirements, including actions and opportunities to meet current and future demand.

    The key finding within this Paper is that there is an established need, including strong stakeholder and community support to construct an Indoor Performing Arts Centre with a capacity between 600-1000 seats.

    The construction of a new indoor venue of this size requires further analysis, including a greater understanding of the operational costs to Council. At this Council Meeting, Councillors agreed to progress a study to scope the venue requirements, building footprint, determine the most suitable location within the City Centre and the operational and funding strategy.

Page last updated: 28 September 2021, 11:50