Camden Civic Centre in need of a revamp, councillor says

More shows needed: Councillor Paul Farrow wants to increase the use of the Camden Civic Centre. Picture: Simon Bennett
More shows needed: Councillor Paul Farrow wants to increase the use of the Camden Civic Centre. Picture: Simon Bennett

Better use of the Camden Civic Centre has the potential to reinvigorate nightlife in Camden and bring thousands of extra visitors to town.

So says Camden Councillor Paul Farrow who is pushing council to investigate hosting many more events at the entertainment and function venue.

He has the support of Camden businessman Steve Wisbey who also see huge potential for the civic centre.

“The civic centre could be our Enmore Theatre,” he said.

“We have world class comedians and musicians performing there – we want to see more of that.

“The businesses in Camden have benefited from a lot from the shows and events held there – we are booked solid when shows are on.”

Mr Wisbey said the venue had become one of the town’s cultural icons.

“Camden needs to become a hospitality and entertainment precinct and the civic centre is a big part of that,” he said.

In November last year Cr Farrow asked council staff to investigate ways to make more use out of the venue.

At Tuesday’s council meeting Cr Farrow asked for this report to be brought back to council within the next three months.

He said the civic centre, built in 1982, was under utilised and in need of a revamp.

“The civic centre is how we bring people into town – it’s our main draw card,” Cr Farrow said.

“People go for a nice dinner at one of the restaurants, head to the civic centre for a show and go home happy.

“There are bigger clubs coming to Oran Park and Gregory Hills in the future so we don’t want the civic centre to get bypassed [as an entertainment venue].”

Cr Farrow said he would also like to see the civic centre extended.

“I don’t know what the population was in 1982, but I am sure we have grown a lot since then,” he said.

“We have shows coming back four or five times because it is a sell out every time – imagine if the venue was bigger.”

​In the past six months the civic centre has hosted a range of performances, functions and exhibitions – including the Camden Art Prize, Jimeoin, Anh Do, the Sydney Comedy Festival and Camden Shorts.