Manfeild reveals $15m makeover plan
The Manfeild board have released a $15 million grand plan to redevelop its park, although with no funding secured it may be more of a wish list.
Chief executive Julie Keane said the plan, revealed last week, involved a new driveway off Kawakawa Rd, extension of pit lanes, roofing over parking areas, widening of the racing grid and fenced separation between spectator and activity for health and safety.
Keane also wanted a cafe area for families and added spectator stands.
‘‘The reality of the changes we are proposing in the blueprint, and the key issue, is going to be funding,’’ she said.
‘‘To say it’s a chunky, costly process is an understatement - it’s sitting at around $15 million and I would imagine it would soon push up to $20 million,’’ Keane said.
She said the proposed work, which she hoped would start within three years, was essential to increasing the look and feel of the park.
The proximity of the park’s agriculture section to the race track was a concern, Keane said.
Her aim was to lift all agricultural facilities, such as the stables, and move them closer to the equestrian ring.
‘‘This new entrance off Kawakawa Rd is the separation from sport and agriculture. We need to shift all that infrastructure to the other side of the road, but we can’t just do that because we’ve got a full calendar of events and our animals have got to go somewhere.
‘‘The one key catalyst for us will always be the race circuit because it’s our bread and butter. It’s what generates the most amount of income for the trust so I would suggest it may have the top priority.’’
Keane also wanted Manfeild to slowly step into event management.
‘‘We had never looked into the option of joint ventures. The new board has said we have the expertise. It’s a way we could be earning higher levels of income.
‘‘The drive-in movies were a really good example for us. We’ve now signed off on a new joint venture agreement where we will be event managing Beef Expo next year.
‘‘When we get our resources to a point we will actively go out and seek events we can tag into.’’
The board would be looking at a funding plan in the New Year, due for completion by early February.
Aerial view of the Manfeild Park facilities, which could get a makeover.