LET THERE BE LIGHT: Coffs Harbour Showground Trust members Greg Hardy, Geoff Booth, John Clarke and Christopher Pearson.
LET THERE BE LIGHT: Coffs Harbour Showground Trust members Greg Hardy, Geoff Booth, John Clarke and Christopher Pearson. Trevor Veale

New lights put Coffs Harbour's showground in spotlight

COFFS Harbour Showground is in the spotlight this week.

On Thursday night the Showground Trust threw the switch to bathe the 101-year-old arena in 56,000 watts of television-quality light.

Four 25.5-metre metal poles, each holding four banks of lights, have been installed thanks to a $98,570 grant from the Department of Natural Resources, Land and Water.

Trust president Greg Hardy said the 2015 Coffs Harbour Show on May 16 and 17 was likely to be the first event to make use of the new lighting.

After its first members were appointed in April last year, the new trust made the lighting a priority project.

Mr Hardy said the new lights had replaced old timber light poles which had deteriorated very badly over the years and were certainly not safe.

"After being in the doldrums for some time, Coffs Harbour Showground and Recreation Reserve has been fairly successful in the area of grants," Mr Hardy said.

"We also received a $50,000 grant towards the operating costs of the trust; a small amount of $500 for noxious weed control and another amount to replace all the chairs in the Jordan Pavilion."

He said their next priority project was upgrading the power outlet boxes used by circuses and sideshows.

Mr Hardy paid tribute to assistance given to the trust by the Nationals member for Coffs Harbour.

"Andrew Fraser has had a long interest in the showground and has been a huge help," Mr Hardy said.

He said they were trying to attract back to the showground previous users who had drifted away and also wanted to update and renew the showground's management plan.

He said while the show would always be one of the priorities for the site, the showground was used for many other activities and while commercial rents would be applied to commercial activities, concessional rents were offered to community activities.



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