Tweed Shire Council has announced the multi-million-dollar purchase of Southern Cross University’s Tweed Heads campus in Brett Street, next to its current customer-service building and library.
Following an agreement approved by councillors last Thursday, heads of the two organisations signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday, but the sale contract has yet to be finalised.
The agreed price of the campus building has been kept secret at the request of SCU officials.
SCU has over the years established itself at its southern Gold Coast campus with two large multi-storey buildings adding to the skyline and landscape of the commercial precinct next to Coolangatta airport.
Further moves of its Tweed-Gold Coast administration and campus operations are set to continue this year.
Council general manager Troy Green said the purchase would give Council ‘necessary flexibility in the organisation’s presence in the north of Tweed Shire’.
Mr Green said that at the same time the agreement enabled the SCU to continue using a section of the building, as the university progressively moves its operations to its southern Gold Coast campus.
‘A constructive working relationship between the university and Council, including discussions on the future needs of both organisations, has provided a positive commercial arrangement for both parties and will bring multiple benefits for the Tweed Shire community,’ Mr Green said.
‘The Brett Street campus site will give Council various options in the short and long term, including office accommodation, flexibility in our contact centre and library operations, and possible commercial leases.
‘The premises, built in 2000, represents three storeys and 3836m2 of office space and adjoins our current premises at Tweed Heads. This offers potential for development ideas around a civic and cultural precinct, along with a greater Council presence in the Tweed Heads area,’ Mr Green said.
Murwillumbah Civic Centre is currently at full capacity and is set to remain Council’s primary office but Mr Green said any increase in Council services and office requirements could be readily housed at the Brett Street facility.
‘The university’s continued presence in part of the building in the short term will allow Council to further investigate long-term options that will best serve Council and the community,’ he said.
SCU Professor Peter Lee said he was ‘pleased this agreement will keep a valuable asset for the benefit of the Tweed community’.