OPEN spaces in Kilmore, Wallan and Seymour will be the major beneficiaries of more than $2.5 million in State Government funding announced last week.
The government has pledged $2.56 million for four projects in Mitchell Shire under its Growing Suburbs Fund, which supports community infrastructure projects.
The funding will go towards: an activation project for Kilmore’s Ryans Creek Reserve, $900,000; a Wallan Community Park cycle and nature trail, $800,000; an upgrade of Wallan’s Greenhill Reserve playspace, $110,000; and accessible playspace upgrades at Seymour’s Chittick Park, $750,000.
Mitchell Shire Council will also contribute $580,000 across the four projects, bringing the total to $3.14 million.
The money for Ryans Creek Reserve will enable a second stage of works at the reserve on Kilmore-Lancefield Road, with plans for new boardwalks, exercise equipment, youth playspaces, landscaping, unisex toilets and improved lighting.
The Wallan Community Park funding will help create a Wallan Central Cycle and Nature Trail, which will feature upgraded park entrances, additional paths, new bridges, nature play areas, a beginners’ riding trail and interpretive signage.
Upgrades at Greenhill Reserve will see new play equipment, including a climbing cube, double play unit, double swing set, seating and climbing rocks and logs as part of a nature play area.
The Chittick Park project will upgrade an all-abilities playspace with inclusive equipment, shade and nature play, and is expected to help connect the area with the neighbouring Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre, along with other current and planned community facilities in the area.
Mitchell Shire Mayor Bill Chisholm said council was excited to receive the money.
“Working together with the Victorian Government we can provide for the needs of the current community and prepare for Mitchell’s growth,” he said.
“We are very excited to see these important projects move forward. We know what they mean to the community and can’t wait to have them up and running.
“This is a vital funding stream for our shire and one that will help our communities connect, be active and provide much-needed opportunities to enjoy open space and playgrounds.”
The grants bring the total allocated to Mitchell Shire under the Growing Suburbs Fund since its inception seven years ago to $27.8 million.
Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said each of the projects would improve Mitchell Shire’s outdoor spaces.
“Stage one of the Ryans Creek Reserve activation has become a well-used and much-loved outdoor play space, I’m delighted that we are able to deliver funding to support stage two of its activation,” she said.
“It will be fabulous to see the all-abilities playground at Seymour’s Chittick Park upgraded and modernised.”
Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green said children would benefit most from the grants.
“It is great to see the Labor Government investing in new playgrounds and open spaces for Wallan so that children in the area can explore, learn and be active,” she said.
“We know Mitchell Shire is a great place to live, and since 2015 the Growing Suburbs Fund has made it an even better one – these new projects will be great for families, children and everyone in our community.”