Upper Kiewa Valley Recreation & Community Hub (UKVRC Hub)
The UKVRC Hub is an architecturally considered low profile designed new building of connected spaces, comprising a Community Pavilion – a flexible space available for events and community use; a Club Pavilion – an open space incorporating player facilities; and a Food & Beverage Pavilion – a quality, retail cafe & restaurant that seats 130 patrons (indoor & alfresco) overlooking one of the UKV’s most spectacular views, run by a commercial operator, supporting local job creation and strengthening the long term viability of the aforementioned initiatives. On-site parking, rainwater collection and solar power is included. An existing machinery shed will be repurposed as a Cart Pavilion, with a new machinery shed built away from residential houses. The current 1950’s clubhouse will be demolished.
There is no similar facility to the UKVRC Hub in the UKV. While there is a Community Centre, Senior Citizen’s Club and other sporting facilities, they don’t meet the expectations or requirements for hosting wellness, formal or corporate events. In fact, an infrastructure audit by Alpine Shire (Feb 2021) identified “a lack of contemporary indoor event venues to support ‘all-weather’ events, night-time events … a lack of indoor conference facilities, which could attract the business market & encourage mid-week visitation”. Last year Mount Beauty and Tawonga were promoted in the Guardian newspaper (Jan 2021) as places to visit, albeit not an area with a lot of choice when it came to eateries. “Speaking of which, Mount Beauty and nearby Tawonga are great options for those who want unadulterated views of the forests and the highest mountain in Victoria, Mount Bogong. Although you might run out of new restaurants to try after a couple of nights.” There is clear need for more variety in the UKV that encourage visitors to not only stay in the area, but return. The F&B Pavilion is a new option, complimentary to other eateries. It will enhance local tourism and increase visitation to other businesses. But the real value in the UKVRC Hub is the strengthening of local community social interaction and member service that it offers, bolstering the core business of the MBGC, the golf course membership revenue. Club participation is expected to increase via programs leveraging the UKVRC Hub. Anticipated programs include use of the Club Pavilion to enable social memberships, expanding participation to those who don’t play golf but enjoy social visits. The Community Pavilion will create a space for crèche underpinning programs to attract players with young children. The Cart Pavilion will provide accessible housing for the golf carts used by physically challenged players. In contrast the current clubhouse, built in the 1950s, does not meet today’s accessibility requirements, making it a difficult place to use and navigate.
The UKVRC Hub project delivers direct social, economic and health benefits for the UKV and broader regional communities that includes:
– Project work and local jobs first sourcing for the build
– New ongoing employment opportunities in F&B and facility operations
– Strengthening in community resilience, fitness and mental health
– Increased visitation and visitor expenditure across the Alpine LGA
– Increased local accommodation demand
– New business opportunity for a commercial F&B operator increased turnover for the F&B SME supply chain and local farm-gates
– New space for use by 80+ NFP community groups and small businesses
Demonstrating broad community support and by inference confirmation that the UKVRC Hub does not duplicate or compete with existing business or planned efforts, Letters of Support have been received including from local hospitality providers, as well as the Federal Member for Indi, Dr Helen Haines MP, State Member for Benambra, Mr Bill Tilley MLA, Alpine Shire Council, Alpine Health, Mount Beauty Chamber of Commerce, UKV Community Association and Golf Australia. Mt Beauty & District Community Bank has pledged $200,000 sponsorship funding in recognition of the significant benefit that this development will bring the community. Over 360 individual locals have signed a petition of support.
Estimated Total Costs: $2,880,000
Government Funding Required/Seeking: $2,485,000
Federal Electorate: Indi
State Electorate: Ovens Valley