A NEW $800,000 sports pavilion at Wallan Secondary College, a $250,000 improvement to Riding Develops Abilities’ Kings Park facilities in Seymour and a $226,000 lighting project at Seymour Tennis Complex are at the top of a Mitchell Shire Council sports grants wishlist.

Council last week voted to submit applications to Sport and Recreation Victoria’s Local Sports Infrastructure Fund, LSIF, and Country Football Netball Program, CFNP.

The $27 million LSIF funds projects in the categories of indoor stadiums and aquatics facilities, female-friendly facilities, community sports lighting, community facilities and planning.

The $5 million CFNP assists grassroots country football and netball clubs.

Apart from the college pavilion, riding facilities and tennis lighting applications, council will also bid for a $160,000 upgrade to Wallan’s Greenhill Recreation Reserve main oval and a $70,000 Mitchell Open Space Strategy review.

Cr Louise Bannister said the grants programs represented ‘a great opportunity for council to take advantage of grant money and get some much-needed facilities in our shire’.

She said the Riding Develops Abilities – formerly Riding for the Disabled Association of Victoria – grant application could have a huge impact for people with disabilities across Mitchell Shire.

“We had that group speak to us at the budget submission and the work they do is fantastic,” she said.

“It’s really positive, community-centred work, and fingers crossed we get the funding for it.

“It’s groups like those that make Mitchell Shire what we are.”

Cr Fiona Stevens said the Wallan Secondary College pavilion would include female-friendly facilities.

Of the projects, Mitchell Shire would contribute $266,667 to the Wallan Secondary College pavilion, $75,334 to the Seymour tennis lighting project, $83,334 to Riding Develops Abilities, $40,000 to the open space strategy review and $53,334 to the Greenhill Recreation Reserve upgrades.

Cr Rhonda Sanderson said grants would play a vital role in ensuring Mitchell Shire was able to provide adequate sporting facilities to residents.

“We need to try to apply for as many grants as possible,” she said.

“We’ve got a current population around 50,000 people that will be increasing to about 90,000 by 2030, which is a fairly steep increase.

“We just couldn’t supply all the sport and recreational facilities that our community needs without government grants.”

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