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Next step for equestrian centre

THE development of an exhibition centre at Stony Creek has been boosted by $35,000 allocated in the South Gippsland Shire Council 2015-16 annual budget.

Council recreation coordinator Ian Murphy said the funding will be used to further investigate the development of the facility.

“The funds will be utilised to review the concept plans and costings previously prepared for the project, determine the preferred management model for the proposed facility and identify the potential economic benefit to the community,” he said.

“The viability of the facility and the potential economic benefit will be key factors in securing council and external funding support required for construction.”

Mr Murphy said during the 2015-16 financial year council will work in partnership with local equestrian and reserve representatives to test the feasibility of developing a high quality equestrian/exhibition facility at Stony Creek.

“A report will be prepared for council in the first half of 2016 to consider the external funding opportunities available, the potential community economic benefit and financial support required from council to develop the facility,” he said.

Stony Creek exhibition centre working group members Bev Shandley and Janine Bullock have been working with council to develop plans for the facility.

Concept plans have been developed for a large scale facility, focused on equestrian pursuits however the working group said it will now be done in stages.

Stage one will involve the construction on a 70 by 35 or 40 metre undercover arena suitable for a huge range of uses, including equestrian.

The working group has proposed to build the arena in the existing parade ring, in the middle of the stalls.

“We chose that position as it is close to the existing facilities and infrastructure. As an exhibition centre, the scope for its usage is huge,” Ms Bullock said.

“We have had a lot of interest from cattle associations and the local community has been really supportive of the development.”

Ms Shandley said the working group completed many hours of research before putting the proposal for the centre before council.

“We went in with as much factual information we could get, so we could answer any questions that came up. It wasn’t easy to get it all,” she said.

Ms Shandley said benefits of regional facilities like the one proposed for Stony Creek are numerous.

“With an undercover area, the opportunities are endless. There is no other public undercover facility in the region,” she said.

“We envisage it as being part of the recreation reserve, with its own committee of management.”

Ms Bullock said the facility is not intended to be used just by the local equestrian club.

“It is not just for the Stony Creek Riding Club or pony club. It will be accessible by everyone, as a public facility,” she said.

High hopes: Janine Bullock, left and Bev Shandley from the Stony Creek exhibition centre working group have been workin with the South Gippsland Shire Council to advance plans for an undercover arena development at Stony Creek.

High hopes: Janine Bullock, left and Bev Shandley from the Stony Creek exhibition centre working group have been workin with the South Gippsland Shire Council to advance plans for an undercover arena development at Stony Creek.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=15654

Posted by on Jul 28 2015. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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