REVEALED: Detailed work starts on Ipswich convention centre

A DESIGN for Ipswich's landmark convention and exhibition centre will soon start with an aim to get the project shovel-ready by February.

Led by the Ipswich Show Society, the efforts to progress the city's long-awaited convention centre will ramp up.

As part of stage one of the project, $1.5 million has been allocated to draw detailed designs, acquire development approvals and other works to start stage two of the strategy, the new Ipswich Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Vice president Darren Zanow said the society aimed to have the project, built at the site of the showgrounds' cattle pavilion and ready for construction by February.

"We are best placed in terms of position to be able to put an Ipswich convention and exhibition centre," Mr Zanow said.

The multi-purpose centre will be Ipswich's largest facility and is hoped to be a venue for an Olympic event in 2032.

Its capacity and finer layout details will not be known until designs are progressed.

Mr Zanow hoped the facility would be similar to the convention centre at Brisbane's RNA showgrounds.

"It's quite a large centre and it would certainly position Ipswich in the box seat for having home shows, conventions and exhibitions," he said.

Mr Zanow said the facility would stop large events being lost to Brisbane.

The society will soon launch a KPMG study of the economic requirements for the new centre.

Funding for the design as well as refurbishments for existing show society buildings was granted in 2017 when One Nation leader Pauline Hanson handed over $8.9 million from the Federal Treasury.

Ipswich Show Society vice-president Darren Zanow and presisent Rusty Thomas with Senator Pauline Hanson who has secured $8.9 million for the Ipswich Showgrounds.
Ipswich Show Society vice-president Darren Zanow and presisent Rusty Thomas with Senator Pauline Hanson who has secured $8.9 million for the Ipswich Showgrounds. David Nielsen

Mr Zanow said as part of the grant, the showgrounds would be refurbished after this year's Ipswich Show.

The project has support from all political parties, which the society said was vital to building a world-class convention venue.

"If Ipswich people really want this facility they need to get behind the show society.

"Be a loud voice and a squeaky wheel to ensure this happens," Mr Zanow said.