A new agri-tourism venture is set to showcase the ‘best of everything’ from the region, with a huge Produce Hall trading seven days a week.
Coolum Beach will become home to one of the largest tourism destinations on the Coast, with Sunshine Coast Council giving development approval to Barns Lane Farm.
The farm will be set across 6.8 hectares and centre around a paddock-to-plate experience.
It will showcase Sunshine Coast goods and connect locals and tourists with the hinterland.
The 2000sqm Produce Hall will trade daily and house more than 50 short-term and long-term stallholders.
Barns Lane Farm co-founder and developer Jason Grant said it was a great chance for locals to showcase their wares.
“The Produce Hall will provide a never-before-seen opportunity for local producers, without being subjected to trading restrictions and weather conditions,” he said.
“It will offer multiple connections to the market including selling direct to the public and supplying on-site restaurants and vendors.”
Co-founder Helen Grant said there would be several features at the complex.
“It caters to the many tastes and needs of families and foodies,” she said.
“Other attractions include a distillery, brewery, dining, adventure play areas, animal farms, tours, a performance stage and much more.”
The news has been welcomed by tourism, industry bodies and local stakeholders.
Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Matt Stoeckel said the farm would provide a significant boost to the region.
“There is a huge demand for agri-tourism experiences,” he said.
“The new product will go a long way in cementing our profile as a leading agri-tourism destination.”
Coolum State School Principal Anthony Ryan said the farm would bolster the local community.
“Having this on our doorstep is really exciting,” he said.
“We’ve already implemented Barns Lane Farm themes into our curriculum, and we look forward to furthering partnership opportunities.”
It’s expected that Barns Lane Farm will create more than 170 full-time equivalent jobs across a range of industries and provide vast community and educational opportunities.
Barns Lane co-founder Jonathan Leishman said the region’s agri-business would continue to develop.
“We’re growing and supporting local in every sense of the word, including through our Joint Venture with (venture studio) Josephmark for the Agtech incubator Dirt Lab, which will nurture local innovation,” he said.
Construction will start soon, with the opening set for mid-2023.
Future stages include a 26-room boutique hotel suite and a 150-seat function venue, ideal for rural destination weddings and events.
Barns Lane Farm key features:
- Site size: 6.8 hectares
- More than 170 full-time equivalent jobs expected
- Will connect locals and tourists with the hinterland
- Restaurants and cafes offering paddock-to-plate experience
- More than three hectares of productive garden beds and orchards
- 2000sqm seasonal Produce Hall with 50 short and long-term stallholders
- Agri-tech Incubator, ‘Dirt Lab’
- Events centre and boutique accommodation
- Music and arts space
- Distillery and brewery