The refurbishment of the former Emu Plains Police Cottage is officially underway, as Penrith City Council and the NSW Government commenced proceedings with an official ground-breaking ceremony this week.

Constructed back in 1908, the cottage will be sensitively restored into a future dining destination located on the Nepean River. The refurbishment is being undertaken to cement the longevity of the building. 

Penrith City Council Spokesperson, Karen McKeown, says the ceremony marks a major milestone in the life of the project, which is being undertaken by the council in conjunction with the adjacent Regatta Park upgrade.

“The official ground-breaking is a significant milestone for the Police Cottage refurbishment, as we begin to restore the historic building to its former glory. After an innovative idea by Council, the building will be adapted into a yet-to-be-named café and restaurant that blends heritage and modern dining with views of the Nepean River,” she says.

“Construction has commenced on time for the Police Cottage despite a challenging year for the construction industry. We are proud to deliver this revitalisation project for our community that will contribute over $1 million in total value to the local economy, support 60 jobs on site during construction and employ a further 40-45 hospitality staff upon completion.”

Member for Penrith and Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney and Minister for Trade and Industry, Stuart Ayres, says the Police Cottage revitalisation project is supported by a $1.5 million injection by the NSW Government and a further $1 million contribution by Penrith City Council.

emu plains police cottage refurbishment

“It’s fantastic to get shovels in the ground on this state and local government collaboration that will support jobs, restore a significant heritage building, and activate Crown land to benefit the community and tourism by creating a stunning new dining venue,” he says.

“The restored Police Cottage will be an ideal location and drawcard for family, friends and visitors to eat, meet and relax in a prime riverfront location on the Great River Walk.”

Shane and Belinda Simpson, Penrith residents and owners of well-known lower Blue Mountains venue 2773 Café Glenbrook, have been chosen as the hospitality operators for the soon-to-be-named restaurant. They will create a modern Australian menu with a focus on local and sustainable produce. 

AMA Projects has been handed the contract to refurbish the Police Cottage. With an impressive portfolio that has seen the company deliver a number of heritage-focused projects, AMA will work alongside Penrith City Council to ensure the building is carefully refurbished with the restoration of the façade, replacement works to the verandahs and roof, services upgrades, internal enhancements and the upgrade of the outdoor privy. They will also deliver an extension of the deck to create an outdoor dining area that will be shaded by a row of mature Jacaranda trees, offering views of the Yandhai Nepean Crossing and the Nepean River.

Completion of the project is expected for the end of 2022. To find out more about the Police Cottage refurbishment, visit

Image: Supplied