Racing NSW has picked up a 17.9 hectare training school in Australia’s thoroughbred capital, Scone.
The deal with TAFE NSW for the former TAFE Scone campus is worth $4 million – a price both above the last independent valuation but below replacement cost.
The incoming owner has flagged an expansion.
Scone is about 280 kilometres north west of Sydney, in the Hunter Valley, considered the centre of Australia’s thoroughbred industry.
Lexington, home to the Kentucky Horse Park, is considered the world’s “horse capital”.
Training facility saved from repurpose
Two Flemington Drive is opposite Scone Airport, adjacent to the Hunter Valley Equine Research Centre and near Scone Racecourse.
The property was marketed as “a significant opportunity to add value and/or develop”.
Residential, a hotel and restaurants could be considered given the zoning, the brokers added.
The investment was offered with a part-leaseback for one year, with two 12 month options (story continues below).
It is configured with 2485 sqm of office and education facilities, arena, farriers workshop, fencing, hayshed, stockyard and car park.
Racing NSW chief executive officer Peter V’Landy said it will continue offering extensive courses for the thoroughbred racing industry.
Moving forward, he added “[the association] will…work with TAFE NSW and the local community to ensure there is the right mix of other courses available at the facility to provide the necessary skilled labour for the region”.
Underutilised, high maintenance asset
TAFE NSW managing director Steffen Faurby described 2 Flemington Dve as an underutilised asset.
Selling it, he said, will reduce the organisation’s operational maintenance cost.
Skills and Tertiary Education minister Dr Geoff Lee added proceeds will be tipped into delivering local modern teaching facilities for “in demand” courses – including a workshop as part of the Scone Connected Learning Centre.
An upgrade of a welding facility at TAFE NSW Newcastle (150 km away) and expanding to allow carpentry at nearby Belmont is also earmarked.
A hair and beauty school at TAFE NSW Muswellbrook – 32km from Scone – is also planned.