10 December 2014, Written by Nick Nichols

A FREEZE on infrastructure charges has been lauded as a major fillip for the Nerang RSL and Memorial Club's $7.5 million redevelopment.

Club president Terry McDonald says the savings amounted to $450,000 for the club which this week hosted a bevy of political, business and community figures at the official opening of the state-of-the-art community facility.

McDonald says the council's Construction Kickstart program, introduced by Mayor Tom Tate, had helped get the club's redevelopment plan over the line after 10 years in the making.

Construction of the project began earlier this year, and according to Nerang RSL sub-branch president Geoff Stephan more improvements will come with a new signature restaurant poised to open in a few weeks.

"Nobody in the club believed we would get this far, but we are here and this is not the finish - it's only the beginning," Stephan says.

The refurbishment has added three new bars, a pizza cafe, coffee shop, a new bistro and upgraded function facilities to the club, which was founded almost 70 years ago and is one of Queensland's most profitable RSL clubs with 22,000 members.

"The multimillion-dollar upgrade has elevated the club to a whole new level, delivering state-of-the-art amenities to the 4211 district and the wider Gold Coast community ahead of the 100th anniversary of Anzac Day in 2015," says Stephan.

"The club has undergone three refurbishments since it relocated from its original location in Warrener Street in 1982 to its present location in Nerang Street, and this is by far the most extensive upgrade to date.

"It has added a further 800sqm of usable floor space to the club, resulting in a total 2900sqm across two levels.

"The makeover has also included the restoration of the club's cenotaph in preparation of the 100th anniversary of Anzac Day in 2015, which is expected to attract over 3000 people who with gather to pay their respects next April."

The transformation has taken about 12 months to complete, adding three new bars, a pizza cafe, coffee shop, a new bistro and upgraded function facilities to the club.

Club manager Andrew McInnes says while it may have a new face, the essence of the RSL has not been lost in the transformation.

"We are focused on getting away from the mentality that it is just an RSL through the integration of quality design, great atmosphere and delicious cuisine, and while the changes to the club are significant, we will certainly not compromise on the integrity of the club," he says.

"Instead, we have aimed to create an environment that has far more to offer and is more appealing to a wider demographic with more variety, modern spaces and quality offerings designed to attract more young people.

"The Nerang RSL is a place that everyone knows and loves and we have worked hard to deliver an even better environment for our members and visitors, with more fun and entertainment for the whole family.

"The improvements to the facilities and function spaces will have far-reaching economic and sustainability benefits, ensuring well maintained, usable facilities are available to the community for meetings, conferences, significant events and other such occasions."

Author: Nick Nichols





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