The $47.9 million Western Sydney Community and Conference Centre (WSCCC) is set to begin construction on the Panthers precinct this October.
The Federal and State GovernmentS have both contributed $12 million each, which will go towards creating the state-of-the-art centre.
The facility is set to be located on the current Panthers car park, with an additional car park to be built behind the club on Jim Jones Oval.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack was today joined by Senator Marise Payne, Penrith MP Stuart Ayres, Panthers Chairman David O’Neill and Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher to turn the first sod, marking the official start of the largest infrastructure project in Panthers history.
“This is going to build community capacity like never before in this area, there really is no other facility of this style and potential,” Mr McCormack said.
“Coming from a regional city, I know how important these conference centres are, people don’t always necessarily want to have to go out to big metropolitan cities, they want these sorts of outlying areas of Penrith or indeed a regional capital to go to their conferences and conventions.”
The conference centre will feature 1,250sqm of flexible floor space and be equipped to host major events, trade shows, exhibitions and seated functions for up to 1000 people.
Panthers on the Prowl will operate out of the building and it will be greatly utilised by other vital local services.
Ms Payne said it was a game changer for western Sydney and when complete, would be a world-class hub for community groups and activities.
“Having worked across western Sydney for over 20 years, I know that our region is home to some of the most hardworking community organisations in our nation, yet too often these organisations are humstrung because they need more office space or enhanced facilities to help carry out their important work,” she said.
“As the region grows, it’s important that there is the right infrastructure in place to keep up with these demands.”
A car park will be built underneath the facility as well as behind the club. Whilst construction is underway, Panthers encourage guests to make use of the existing multi storey parking facility.
“We are delighted that Panthers’ vision for the WSCCC is becoming a reality with generous support from the State and Federal Governments,” Panthers Chairman David O’Neill said.
“The thriving business community of Western Sydney has long been in need of a modern, multi-purpose conference centre and Panthers is proud to be delivering exactly that.
“The many outstanding community programs and initiatives in the Penrith region will also have a state-of-the-art facility available to them in the form of the community centre.”
Mr McCormack estimated the centre will be delivered within a two year time frame.
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Nicola Barton is a news journalist with the Western Weekender, primarily covering crime and politics.