Tuesday, 3 April 2012
: A valuable land sale has the Gawler and Barossa Jockey Club looking ahead to a prosperous future.
A parcel of 4.3 hectares of land owned by the race club has been purchased by South Australian company Leedwell Property, which will act as development manager on behalf of a joint venture of local investors with plans to create a retail precinct.
The settlement has allowed the GBJC to retire debt incurred with redevelopment of its racecourse and to secure its financial future.
Judith Jones, chair of the GBJC, said the settlement had brought a successful end to a challenging period of change for the club.
“Wind the clock back a few years and we were struggling with an ageing and underperforming facility that wasn't allowing us to grow with the Gawler community or capitalise on the opportunities in the racing industry,” she said.
“We were facing a very uncertain future and, as a club, we had to make a series of tough decisions and take a few calculated risks to turn things around.
“Thanks to a lot of hard work and also some critical support from the State Government and Thoroughbred Racing SA, we have emerged much stronger with fantastic facilities, a calendar full of activities and a healthy balance sheet.”
Through the $13 million project - $6 million of which was provided by the SA Government with the balance facilitated by Thoroughbred Racing SA - Gawler now boasts a fully redeveloped racecourse, manicured gardens, new jockey and stewards rooms plus a multi-use function centre.
The 4.3 hectares of surplus land was released by the club to help fund the project.
“With the settlement of the sale, the Gawler & Barossa Jockey Club and its members can now look to the future with real confidence, secure in the knowledge that they now have a fantastic foundation from which to build,” said Jim Watters, chief executive of Thoroughbred Racing SA.
“The Club should be proud, the people of Gawler should be proud and the South Australian racing industry should be proud of what has been achieved.”
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