A community organisation is being sought to run both the Coombs Cottage and the Coombs Community Activity Centre, which the ACT Government wants to see become hubs for events, activities and celebrations in the Molonglo Valley.
The heritage-listed Coombs Cottage has been a community site since 2017 when the Suburban Land Agency ran it as part of its Mingle program, while the government stepped in to take charge of the privately owned Community Activity Centre, which has lain unused for years due to prohibitively high user fees.
The government has kicked off an Expression of Interest process so it can eventually appoint an organisation to manage the hire and use of the cottage and centre facilities by individuals and organisations, and provide the kinds of community services that have been sorely missing in the Molonglo Valley, particularly in Coombs and Wright.
According to the tender document, desirable activities include small and large gatherings, general meetings, conferences, religious and cultural events, markets, craft activities and stalls, picnics in the cottage gardens, music, celebrations and ceremonies, health and wellbeing activities and dance.
The facilities are expected to be available across the week and at night.
The Cottage is a multipurpose, accessible facility with parking on a 2,920 square site with a spacious outdoor garden area adjacent to a children’s playground.
“The Cottage will provide locals and visitors with a place of respite from the city while providing opportunities for creative action, learning workshops and activities, community services, and joyful expressions of community engagement in a nostalgic historical environment,” the tender says.
“Located on the foreshore of the Coombs Lake, this facility is intended to attract multi-generational users.”
The Community Activity Centre is located in the heart of Coombs and has recently been refurbished.
The available space on the ground floor of the centre is fully furnished, has modern amenities and features, and an open floor space for large gatherings of up to 100 people.
“The centre will be an engaging and inclusive space that will become a true destination for the community of Coombs,” the tender says.
The government, through ACT Property Group, will charge the operator a 2021-22 licence fee of $2555.77 (ex GST) for Coombs Cottage and $8027.04 (ex GST), subject to an annual review.
The government also plans to build a new Coombs Community Centre to be a government-owned facility as part of the proposed Coombs and Wright Village.
The tender closes on 18 January.