The Agriplex may be getting a facelift.
The City of Surrey plans to apply for a provincial grant to revitalize the 30,000-square-foot venue after corporate report R007 was approved by council at their regular meeting Jan. 30.
“The purpose of this report is to obtain council’s endorsement for a grant funding application in support of revitalization of the multi-use Agriplex at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds including leveling the floor and adding universal design elements to allow for increased viability and accessibility for hosting,” says the corporate report submitted on behalf of Laurie Cavan, the general manager of the Parks, Recreation & Culture Department.
Opened in October, 1985, the Agriplex, which turns 38 this year, last received a reno nine years ago in 2014 when its dirt floor was upgraded to cement.
Cavan recommended council endorse the grant application for the Cloverdale Agriplex Rejuvenation Project under the Province of British Columbia’s Destination Development Funding Program after the program was selected to proceed to stage two of the application process.
That provincial program aims to provide grants to projects that “foster distinct and globally competitive destinations, strengthen a year-round visitor economy, increase community vibrancy and resident support for tourism, and support sustainability, accessibility and inclusion.”
The revitalization project was first conceived last December when city staff responded to the Destination Development Funding Program’s initial call for application proposals.
On Jan. 4, city staff found out the Cloverdale Agriplex Rejuvenation Project was selected to proceed to stage two, which means this city must submit a full application by Feb. 9. And a council resolution supporting the project is one of the application’s requirements.
The city’s corporate report notes the Cloverdale Agriplex doesn’t meet the normal requirements for many events that could be hosted in the building because the cement floor is not level.
“As a result, (the Agriplex) is not able to host trade shows, sports tournaments, and other tourism and economic-driving events,” the report says. “This project envisions re-levelling the floor of the building and enhancing the parking lot at the Agriplex and entrances to be fully accessible.”
The report adds that the renos will strengthen the venue as a multi-use site both increasing its desirability as a venue among community groups and local sporting organisations.
Those groups will be able to “use the space in various ways including multi-day sporting tournaments that promote overnight hotel stays.”
The Destination Development Funding Program will announce grant winners in March. If approved, the project must be completed within two years.
“Renovating the Cloverdale Agriplex will bring additional hosting opportunities to Surrey and will expand its competitiveness in the event hosting destinations sector, making the City of Surrey a top choice for local groups and sporting organizations,” the report concludes. “Renovating this space will be an opportunity to develop and grow new and existing festivals and events at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds and offer new experiences that will attract both locals and visitors, positively contributing to Surrey’s economy.”