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The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys welcome the Queensland Government’s commitment to the club’s new Community, Training and High Performance Centre and its flow-on economic benefits, with a $5 million development grant announced today.

The state government grant complements funding received for the $40 million facility from the Federal Government ($15 million grant) and the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility ($20 million loan).

The centre under construction beside Queensland Country Bank Stadium
The centre under construction beside Queensland Country Bank Stadium

Due for completion in February 2021, the state-of-the-art venue will combine community areas, multi-sport high-performance training spaces, sports medicine and sports science laboratories on a 5,000m² parcel of land adjacent to Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville.

The Cowboys will share the space with partner James Cook University and have a long-term development lease with Townsville City Council for use of the land, which includes a user agreement for the adjacent 12,000m² community training field.

Artist’s impression of the Community, Training and High Performance Centre – courtesy of Tippett Schrock Architects
Artist’s impression of the Community, Training and High Performance Centre – courtesy of Tippett Schrock Architects

Cowboys Chairman Lewis Ramsay thanked the Queensland Government, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Minister for Communities and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke, Member for Townsville Scott Stewart and Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper.

“The new Community, Training and High Performance Centre is truly a centre of collaboration, made possible by the support and vision of our stakeholders, including the Premier and her government,” Mr Ramsay said.

“We are grateful for the state’s commitment to this important project, as we continue to reach our construction milestones to be on track to move in ahead of the 2021 NRL season.”

Mrs O’Rourke said the investment was a major boost for Townsville and the Cowboys.

We are happy the Cowboys are achieving their vision in building this state-of-the-art facility which will benefit not only the club but the entire community.”

Minister for Communities and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke

“I was more than happy to ask for funding for this project as like Queensland Country Bank Stadium it will help deliver not just for our NRL team but for the whole community,” she said.

Led by managing contractor Hutchinson Builders, the project will deliver 213 full time jobs (including 80 FTE jobs directly) during construction and support 58 full-time jobs from 2022.

Cowboys Chairman Lewis Ramsay & CEO Jeff Reibel on site
Cowboys Chairman Lewis Ramsay & CEO Jeff Reibel on site

Cowboys Chief Executive Officer Jeff Reibel said the Queensland Government’s investment would ensure the project delivers on its potential for the region.

“The Cowboys belong to the North Queensland community, and our new home will ensure that we continue to evolve as both a force on the field and off, through the work of our Cowboys Community Foundation and community programs, and our significant economic contribution to the region.

“The centre will also be a revenue generator as we create a new hub for elite athletic performance and sports medical consulting and rehabilitation services," Mr Reibel said.

We thank the Queensland Government and all of our stakeholders for their support. 

Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel

Associate Professor Fiona Barnett, Head of Sport and Exercise Science at James Cook University, described the opportunities that partnering in these world-class facilities will create.

“James Cook University’s facility will include a physiology laboratory and an analytics hub to assess athletes’ performance and physical capacities.

“In keeping with the Community, Training and High Performance Centre’s community focus, JCU will continue undertaking tropical physical activity research, with a particular focus on occupational and community populations.

“It will provide opportunities for undergraduate students to undertake work-integrated learning and provide greater opportunities for internships and will also allow the university to expand its postgraduate sports science research with Masters, Honours and PhD students undertaking additional research collaborations,” she said.

The centre has continued to take shape during COVID-19, with construction set to generate $16.6M in wages and salaries (including $3.6M to households directly).

Image at top: Minister for Communities and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke, Cowboys Chairman Lewis Ramsay, Member for Townsville Scott Stewart, Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel, JCU Assoc Prof Fiona Barnett