ARARAT’S Alexandra Gardens and surrounds will be lit up before and after hours following a funding announcement from the state government.
After five years of campaigning from community groups such as Ararat’s Parkrun, Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford has announced funding worth $231,000.
The lighting will be constructed throughout the gardens and extend across the Ararat Active Link which will encompass the Bill Waterson Skatepark.
Ararat Rural City Council mayor Gwenda Allgood said lighting poles and bollards would be installed “as soon as possible.”
Ararat Parkrun’s event director Trish Ruthven said the news was long awaited and very welcome.
“I’ve been after lighting in the gardens for about five years and this is just the best announcement,” she said.
“This lighting is going to be fantastic in the winter and again in the summer when it cools down late at night – you can come down here and it will be light.
“Honestly it’s the best news I’ve heard for a long time. It’s fantastic.”
The council will contribute $26,000 to the project and will deliver it in partnership with Victoria Police and Ararat Active8, which encompasses Park Run and a women’s cycling group.
Ms Pulford announced the funding on behalf of Police Minister Lisa Neville and it was her second announcement of the day for Ararat.
Earlier, Ms Pulford announced the Alexandra Oval precinct would receive funding worth $500,000.
This is the second big funding announcement for the precinct in the past three weeks, with funding of $500,000 announced on September 26 to install new netball courts and female friendly facilities.
The latest funding will go towards the development of a new grandstand and an events space. The council will contribute $377,000 toward the project, which falls under the Ararat on the Move – Event and Visitor Space Project.
Ararat Rats Football Netball Club’s David Jennings said the news was the “icing on the cake”.
“It’s going to have both economic and other benefits for the town,” he said.