After sod turning started in August, a brand new Broadford Men’s Shed officially opened on Thursday.

The new facility will give men throughout Mitchell Shire the opportunity to come together and socialise, build trade skills and provide quality programs for the community.

The completion of the $60,000 project gets the men out of their old cramped shed and gives them room to grow their membership.

Minister for Regional Development, Agriculture and Resources Jaclyn Symes said the Department of Health and Human Services’ Men’s Shed Program provided $53,000 in funding and remaining funds came from community contributions and fundraising.

“A lot of people were pretty passionate about making sure they could get a purpose-built facility in the wonderful precinct and it just complements everything that’s already here, particularly the Broadford Living and Learning Centre,” she said.

The Men’s Shed raised close to $10,000 with contributions from Bendigo Bank along with raffles, Bunnings sausage sizzles and other fundraising.

Broadford Men’s Shed president John Brissett said it was great to move into the new space.

“The shed before was impossibly small but because we all got on well and wanted to be together, we put up with it for 14 years,” he said.

“Hopefully, it will continue to attract more people. Already, in the last three or four weeks, we’ve attracted three more but I’m sure word of mouth now will mean we’ll have a lot more people.”

Mitchell Shire Council helped the Men’s Shed apply for funding and assisted in managing construction of the new shed.

Mitchell Shire Mayor Bill Chisholm said Men’s Sheds were crucial in rural areas like Broadford where some members of the community could become isolated.

“Not only will the space be larger and safer, more men from all walks of life can participate and connect with people they might not have met,” he said.

“This upgrade helps the members of the Men’s Shed and assists young people throughout the municipality.”