Skydive the Beach aims for new premises

Skydive the Beach has revealed plans to upgrade its North Wollongong headquarters, proposing to replace its ageing Stuart Park cottage with a modern administration block at the edge the park.

Documents lodged by MMJ Wollongong said the relocation was needed as Wollongong City Council planned to knock down the cottage to make way for future Blue Mile works.

The proposed 400-square metre premises would include a reception and waiting area, a merchandise shop and a coffee kiosk, as well as staff offices and parachute packing and storage space.

It would also have unisex public toilets, a deck and outdoor training area.

The proposal said the council had helped identify the new site near the corner of Kembla Street and George Hanley Drive.

The existing footpath and cycleway at the site would need to be demolished for the development to go ahead, and some trees at the western side of the proposed site would also need to be removed.

Additionally, part of George Hanley Drive would be allocated for skydiving bus parking only.

Company director Anthony Boucaut said the new premises had been a long time coming, and would help accommodate his rapidly expanding business.

"We started out packing parachutes in a toilet block, so to come this far is very exciting and makes me proud that adventure sports are becoming part of the region," he said.

The 15-year-old company is now the largest in Australia with 10 skydiving drop zones across the country.

In 2012, it received $896,500 from the federal government to expand the business and create 20 extra jobs in the region.

"That grant definitely helped us to expand and speed up this development, which has been on the cards since the Blue Mile project was released," Mr Boucaut said.

Mr Boucaut said construction of the headquarters would hopefully begin by the end of this year.

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