(Photo/s: Artist impressions of the renovated Exhibits Display Pavilion and Main Trade Pavilion from different angles. Ipswich Show Society.)
Ipswich's historic showgrounds is getting a major makeover with $65 million to be spent on constructing a convention and exhibition centre and other upgrades on the site.
Construction on stage one of the project is now underway, which will focus on redeveloping the existing exhibition display pavilion and main pavilion buildings as well as preparation works for the new centre at a cost of $8.9 million.
Ipswich Show Society Vice President Darren Zanow says once works are complete there will be more facilities including an emergency evacuation centre:
"We will have a lot more facilities so we will be able to easily cater to 2000 people in the event of an emergency of any sort in the new centre and we had 1600 people in 2011 floods and we will be able to better accommodate for them if we get another event".
The first stage is expected to be finished by the 2020 Ipswich Show.
He says while the rest of the funding is yet be secured, council, state and federal governments have indicated they are on board with the project.