Byron Regional sport and Cultural Complex Byron Bay. . Photo Doug Eaton / The Northern Star
Byron Regional sport and Cultural Complex Byron Bay. . Photo Doug Eaton / The Northern Star DOUG EATON

Byron sports centre will be a jewel in shire's crown" Mayor

BYRON'S Sports and Cultural Complex has the potential to be the "jewel in the crown" of the region now that Byron Shire Council has decided to run the show, says Mayor Simon Richardson.

Byron Shire Council voted last week to proceed with a direct management model, which will see council staff managing the complex rather than sending the management process out for tender.

The decision followed an external report reviewing the facility's operations and management options.

The council had previously been in talks with the PCYC to operate the centre, however, the PCYC's tender was rejected by the council in May.

"Essentially the PCYC's proposal was a deal we couldn't accept - it meant we would have lost control of the site for 10 years and would miss out on other potential uses," Cr Richardson said.

"Now that we have clarity on the new management model we will work towards a plan of management and look at various cultural and sporting opportunities."

The council's general manager, Ken Grainger, said the new management model would allow greater control over hiring out sections of the building on a permanent and temporary arrangement, with a potentially more beneficial financial and social return to the council, with the goal of making the facility cost-neutral.

One example would be hiring out the commercial kitchen at the complex.

"Council will pursue leasing the space to a catering company that would be granted catering rights for events at the building,'' Mr Grainger said.

Cr Richardson said the council was also in discussion with the AFL about developing the complex as an AFL regional headquarters.

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