The ambitious $3.1 million redevelopment of Gordon Street Recreation Reserve can now proceed following the Victorian government's announcement to supply the remaining $2.55 million for the project.
Ararat Rural City Council and the federal government had committed $150,000 and $400,000 to the project, respectively.
The $2.55 million comes from the second round of Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program grants.
Council had applied for funding for the reserve in round one. While its application was rejected, Sport and Recreation Victoria invited the council to resubmit the application for the next round of grants.
The redevelopment will include:
- Female-friendly change facilities.
- A changing space and social room for cricket, football and soccer.
- A cricket oval, including a turf wicket.
- A multi-use space for little athletics.
- Two large football/soccer fields.
The redevelopment would ensure the facilities fully meet AFLW standards.
Ararat Rural City Council chief executive Dr Tim Harrison said the redevelopment would hugely benefit women's sport.
"The Gordon Street Redevelopment establishes Ararat as the home of the AFLW in regional Victoria, providing the Ararat Storm Female Football Club with the training and playing facilities they need to grow," he said.
"Too often, women and girls don't have access to safe and inclusive change amenities or premium competition ovals. Thanks to the support of the Victorian Government - we're doing something about that.
"I'm also very excited that the project delivers new soccer facilities that will see the activation of a vibrant local football competition in Ararat, as well as support the expansion of little athletics and junior cricket."
Council purchased the oval from the Department of Education in 2017 to accommodate the growth in both men's and women's football in the region and provide a facility for little athletics.
However, the redevelopment also aims to remedy the fact Ararat has no facility catering for rectangular sports, such as soccer, rugby, and hockey.
These will be created in the ample space next to the main oval.
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