THE Naracoorte P&A Society is set to undertake its largest development project at the showgrounds in many decades after receiving a federal government grant of $301,000.

The money from the Regional Agricultural Shows Development Grant will go towards renovating and extending the exhibition hall in the north western corner of the grounds, which was previously the old football clubrooms.

The refurbishment will include a new roof with solar panels, new kitchen, toilets and showers and a boardroom equipped with the latest digital technology, as well as an upgrade to the car parking area near the Cartwright Pavilion.

P&A Society secretary Amanda Lock says the much-needed upgrade was in the show’s long-term strategic plan and had set aside funds, but the grant- the largest awarded to any show in SA- was a huge coup.

The society’s vision is for the facilities to be an asset to the community and available for hire to businesses and community groups throughout the year from real estate auctions to ag workshops.

“We are really excited about being able to offer Naracoorte something that people in the urban areas take for granted and while technology changes rapidly this is for generations to come,” she said.

Mrs Lock says installing wifi across the showground will make inputting results into a cloud based system far easier on show day and enable show judging to be livestreamed, as well as the opportunity to livestream ram sales held at the venue.

“It gives us increased capabilities and we are hoping it will attract more people to come to the show and increase their involvement in our society,” she said.

Mrs Lock says the building has also been designed with bushfire emergencies in mind and could see the showground used as a refuge point, just like many NSW showgrounds were in the recent devastating bushfires.

Work is expected to commence in the next couple of months with the aim to have the project completed by June 2021.

“We will go back to the local businesses and tradespeople who have given us quotes and hopefully everyone in the community will see the benefit of this grant,” she said.

Pic: P&A Society members Nicki Wight, Amanda and Andrew Lock, who were the driving forces behind our successful grant application, caught up with Member for Barker Tony Pasin MP earlier this week at the Naracoorte Showgrounds.