The City of Newcastle has welcomed funding for a major urban renewal proposal for the redevelopment of Hunter Park that would transform 63 hectares of land into a world-class lifestyle precinct.

The NSW Government is set to allocate $6.7 million from the 2021-22 Budget to prepare a full business case for the Hunter Park project, which is designed to create a thriving entertainment, sporting, commercial and residential destination of national and international significance.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said this would be a truly transformative project for Newcastle and the Hunter Region that would deliver on a key element in the State Government’s Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036.

“Hunter Park is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create 8,000 jobs during construction, with more than 1,000 ongoing following its completion. In turn, transforming a much-loved but aging and underutilised space into a contemporary mixed-use precinct located at the geographical heart of Newcastle at Broadmeadow, just 5km from the Newcastle CBD,” Mr Nelmes said.

“A key benefit for the region of Hunter Park is jobs. Once complete, the project would support new jobs in sporting and entertainment related industries including medical, educational, tourism and retailing as part of a new health and education and innovation ecosystem.

“It is a significant urban regeneration proposal, the size and scale of which has never been seen outside of Sydney, incorporating 50 hectares of exceptional public open and green spaces, state-of-the-art sporting facilities, leisure and entertainment zones, 13,000sqm of commercial space and more than 2,600 new homes, including much-needed social and affordable housing.

“I acknowledge the support of all Hunter Councils and my fellow Mayors, together with the national significance of Hunter Park being recognised by the Federal Government’s infrastructure advisor, Infrastructure Australia.

“City of Newcastle has been advocating for this as part of a genuine collaboration with NSW Government agencies, and I thank the Board and CEO of Venues NSW, and the Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation for their work in securing this funding.”

City of Newcastle CEO, Jeremy Bath, said Hunter Park is the next big step in Newcastle’s transformation, providing a world-class sporting and entertainment hub with transport links, which locals and visitors would be able to enjoy day and night, all year round.

“Delivering an international-quality destination for sporting events and entertainment, with improved connectivity for public and active transport, it is expected to attract 1.8 million annual visitors and become home to around 6,000 residents, delivering exceptional liveability, sustainability and place outcomes,” Mr Bath said.

“In what would likely be a multi-stage construction process over more than ten years, Hunter Park will provide an opportunity to attract major private market investment into Newcastle, including an estimated $3.7 billion in economic output during construction and attracting almost $55 million annually from the NSW Government.

“City of Newcastle welcomes the NSW Government’s funding commitment and thanks Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Rob Stokes, and Minister for Sport, Natalie Ward, for their support for the Hunter Park concept.”

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