April 21, 2022
The South Burnett Regional Council will grant the Kingaroy Chamber Of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) a two-year extension on the group’s proposed business incubator project.
The incubator is being built in the former Trendsetter building in Kingaroy Street, which the Council acquired in late 2020 with the intention of converting one of its three retail shops into a pedestrian walkway connecting the Glendon Street car park to the CBD.
Soon after the Council bought the property, the empty building was used as a temporary office by the Rotary Club of Kingaroy when the group hosted the District 9600 Rotary Conference iin early 2021.
This sparked the KCCI’s idea of creating a business incubator to help small businesses struggling to get a foothold in the market to develop in a professional and affordable setting.
Since the redevelopment of Glendon Street is likely to take until the end of next year, the Council agreed to give the KCCI a two-year lease over the building in September 2021 so they could develop their incubator concept.
KCCI members then set about refurbishing the building to create four private offices, a bank of hot desks, a board room and shared meeting space.
However, the KCCI’s renovations ran into some unexpected difficulties.
These included delays in removing asbestos from the building and obtaining building approvals for a disability toilet, water leaks and difficulties in sourcing building materials.
Earlier this month the KCCI asked the Council to extend their lease by an extra 24 months to allow them sufficient time to finish construction work and give the incubator idea a fair trial.
Councillors agreed, and extended the KCCI’s lease until the end of August 2025.
KCCI president Damien Martoo told southburnett.com.au the group is aware of the Council’s long-term plan for the building and the upgrades they are carrying out will allow its easy transformation into a walkway in the future.
He said the KCCI was very grateful to Council for granting them a lease extension and stressed the incubator would be open to all South Burnett businesses, not just those based in Kingaroy.