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Barns Lane Farm: Distillery, restaurant, produce hall given green light

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A massive agri-tourism venture featuring an animal farm, distillery and produce hall trading seven days a week is set to become a major drawcard on the Sunshine Coast

Coolum Beach will become home to one of the largest tourism destinations on the Coast when Barns Lane Farm opens late next year after it was approved for development by Sunshine Coast Council.

Barns Lane Farm will be set across 6.8 hectares and centre around a paddock-to-plate experience.

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It will showcase the region’s ‘best of everything’ and connect locals and tourists with the hinterland.

Future stages include a 26-room boutique hotel suite and a 150-seat function venue.

Barns Lane Farm is forecast to be a boon for the local economy, creating more than 170 full-time equivalent jobs across a range of industries and provide vast community and educational opportunities.

The 2,000sq m produce hall will trade seven days a week and house over 50 short-term and long-term stallholders.

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Co-founder and developer Jason Grant says the produce hall will provide a “never-before-seen opportunity” for local producers, without being subjected to trading restrictions and weather conditions.

“It will offer multiple connections to the market including selling direct to the public and supplying on-site restaurants and vendors,” Mr Grant says.

"The produce hall is core to Barns Lane. It has 40 to 50 small concession stands in it. And that's the platform where the hinterland producers get to come and connect to their community. get to connect to the visitors through the Sunshine Coast."

Mr Grant says for hinterland producers, it's an easy path to market with short-term licenses.

"They're one, three, six month licences," he says.

"So when they're in season, they've got that easy access to market and they don't need to make a larger commitment to a more permanent retail stand."

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Co-founder Helen Grant says it will cater to the many tastes and needs of families and foodies.

"It's not just about what you put into your mouth. It's also about having a healthy lifestyle and a healthy mind," she says.

"So Barns Lane Farm gives people the opportunity to come and connect with their community, to wander around a farm-like environment, to participate in socialization with their community and their tribe, and to just have a really enjoyable time.

“Other attractions include a distillery, brewery, dining, adventure play areas, animal farms, tours, a performance stage and much more."

Co-founder Jonathan Leishman says the theme of Barns Lane Farm is agriculture and that starts with that paddock-to-plate experience.

"However, the change that we're bringing and that we want to see come through, we want it to go beyond micro. We want to impact the macro," Mr Leishman says.

"We want to help cultivate careers and give people long-term employment opportunities." 

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The news has also been welcomed by tourism, industry bodies and local stakeholders.

“There is a huge demand for agri-tourism experiences. The new product will go a long way in cementing our profile as a leading agri-tourism destination,” Matt Stoeckel, CEO, of Visit Sunshine Coast says.

Coolum State School principal Anthony Ryan believes having Barns Lane Farm on its doorstep is exciting.

“We’ve already implemented Barns Lane Farm themes into our curriculum, and we look forward to furthering partnership opportunities,” Mr Ryan says.

Construction will start soon, with the opening set for late-2023.

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BARNS LANE FARM KEY FEATURES & DETAILS:

  • Site size: 6.8 Hectares
  • Over 170 full-time equivalent jobs expected
  • Will connect locals and tourists with the hinterland
  • Restaurants and cafes offering paddock-to-plate experience
  • Over 3ha of productive garden beds and orchards
  • 2,000 sqm 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

Images: Supplied, Open Architecture Studio