Camden Civic Centre to get a boost

Big changes: The Camden Civic Centre is set to grow over the next few years. Picture: Simon Bennett
Big changes: The Camden Civic Centre is set to grow over the next few years. Picture: Simon Bennett

Camden councillors want to ensure the spotlight is on the Camden Civic Centre as a prime entertainment venue for the region in years to come.

The latest council meeting saw councillors support a report which outlined short, medium and long term goals for the centre.

Councillor Paul Farrow asked council staff in November last year to investigate ways to make better use of the venue.

He said he was pleased with the solutions staff had come up with.

“I particularly liked the short-term and medium-term goals – anything that is an immediate investment is a bonus,” Cr Farrow said.

“Upgrading the older amenities like the kitchen area and hiring a full-time chef is a good idea.

“Plans to redesign the under-utilised Undercroft (downstairs foyer area) is absolutely positive as well.”

The Undercroft could potentially become a hub for local business people, similar to the Oran Park Smart Work Hub.

“It has the potential to have hot desks and meeting spaces that could be used regularly by the community,” Cr Farrow said.

“The fact that we have put money aside to investigate these things is a positive thing.”

Cr Farrow said next year’s council budget would also include funds to investigate the long-term goals for the civic centre, which was built in 1982.

“If we look at raised seating or stage modification to bring in different forms of entertainment that would be great,” he said.

“The comedy shows and performers who come here are often doing more than one show because of the demand but it would be good to attract bigger names and different styles of performances like live music and theatre shows as well.

“The more variety we have the greater the benefits for local businesses and the community.

“We don’t want to wait until there are competing venues because then it will be too late.”

Camden businessman Steve Wisbey told the Advertiser in June that he could 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.”

The civic centre has hosted a range of performances, functions and exhibitions in the last six months – including the Camden Art Prize, Lawrence Mooney, Anh Do, the Sydney Comedy Festival and the Lah-Lah’s.