NEW DIGS: TAFE boss Phil Cox and chamber chief executive Kristen Keegan. The chamber is moving to TAFE’s Hamilton campus. Picture: Ryan OslandAFTER a decade based in the cavernous and antiquated main administration building at BHP’s Mayfield East site, the Hunter Business Chamber is moving.
Next month, its 13 staff will shift to the historic Great Northern Brewery building at Hunter TAFE’s Parry Street campus in Hamilton, occupying a 400-square-metre space that was most recently used for teaching hair and beauty courses.
Chief executive Kristen Keegan said the move by the chamber, the largest regional business chamber in Australia, would accommodate her growing staff and consolidate the strong relationship the chamber had with TAFE.
“The chamber remains focused on ensuring Hunter businesses are able to access a highly skilled workforce and our partnership with Hunter TAFE continues to deliver positive, tangible outcomes across a number of areas,” she said.
Ms Keegan said the chamber’s move also represented a significant vote of confidence in the city and its ongoing growth and renewal.
Hunter TAFE chief executive Phil Cox said the organisation worked closely with the chamber to develop programs that added to the region’s development.
“We have strong relations with business generally but we want to be able to demonstrate that even more. It’s really important for us to be aligned with industry,” he said.
The Hunter Development Corporation (HDC) manages the chamber’s former offices at the BHP site, with the building part of the potential port lease transaction.
Last month, the Newcastle Herald reported that three historic buildings on the steelworks site would be demolished in order to remediate the land.
HDC general manager Bob Hawes said there were no plans for the main administration building to be demolished.