Hawke's Bay A & P Society's outgoing chairman says a new leader and executive will decide what to do with $7.5 million from the sale of Tomoana Showgrounds.
Yesterday evening , members of the A & P society voted to accept Hastings District Council's offer to purchase 40 of the 42 hectares of the showground for $7.5m.
The A & P society retains 2.8 hectares bounded by the Hawke's Bay Railway and Kennilworth, Karamu and Elwood roads when the sale goes through on April 1 next year.
As part of the agreement, the showgrounds will be designated as a reserve managed by a trust with representatives of the A & P society, the council, and nearby Waipatu Marae.
The society will have 10 days of free use of the showgrounds annually, primarily around the summer show each October, and free use of office space.
Outgoing A & P society president Simon Collin said investment was a likely outcome for the $7.5m.
"We haven't made any concrete decisions on that, but we're probably looking at, certainly, a managed investment fund and portfolio."
Collin is stepping down after five years. A new president and executive will be elected at the A & P society's AGM in two weeks' time.
"They'll be presenting ideas on how that money will be invested."
"It's kind of the dawn of a new era for the society, so it's probably a good time for someone else to step in as president and who can put us in a new direction to take us into the future.
"It's normally a three-year term. I've done five. I've enjoyed doing it and it has been good for me but it's probably reached that time."
Collin said the A & P society was very pleased that the council would maintain the land as a reserve as it would safeguard it for the society and community to benefit in the future.
"We believe we've got an agreement for the members of the society that is sustainable, and that is going to take us into the future.
"We're going to be working with the council. The trust board that is going to be set up will be something positive that is going to set us up for another 160-odd years."
Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the outcome was "truly fantastic for our community".
She said the council would immediately begin the process to have the showgrounds vested as a reserve and prepare a Reserve Management Plan with the community.