THE Stanthorpe Agricultural Society has been keen to purchase new portable partitions for the Exhibition Centre building for the past three years to make the venue more versatile for groups of all sizes.
Event management subcommittee grants officer Paula Boatfield said this week a grant of $9165 from Southern Downs Regional Council would allow the partitions to be bought andready for functions thathave been booked forthe end-of-year busy period.
"The only big decision to make now is what colour to have - there's about eight different options,” Ms Boatfield said.
She said the Stanthorpe Showgrounds Exhibition Centre was a practical facility that was ideal for concerts, balls, larger dinners and high school graduations.
"But some of the feedback we have received is that people like using the Exhibition Centre but sometimes they want a smaller space that still has the benefits of being close to parking, amenities, the community kitchen and cafe,” she said.
Ms Boatfield said the 9m-long portable partitions were user-friendly and would make it easy to createa smaller space for anevent.
"They will bring the intimacy that people are looking for if they've got a smaller crowd but they will also still be close to the kitchen, veranda and amenity blocks,” she said.
"They create a really nice, uniform background and they can be decorated, so our clients can hang anything they like on thesepartitions, which can help tailor an event to a theme.
"In the past we have used hessian with cattle panels but these will bring an element of professionalism to an event.”
Ms Boatfield said the partitions would also allow an area to be heated adequately, which had been difficult.
"And they're also sound absorbers, which is a feature we are conscious of as the centre is basically a shed and sound echoes off the tin, so any fabric absorbs the extra sound.”
Because the society was not-for-profit, Ms Boatfield said all funds raised at events were channelled straight back into the running of the showgrounds and facilities.
"Currently we're working on electrical systems, a newcampdraft area, upgrading buildings on the ground and it just doesn't leave enough cash available for the nice-to-have items,” she said.
She said the society was extremely grateful for the money and the versatility the partitions would offerwould make the Exhibition Centre a "very attractive option” when people were seeking an event venue.
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