Start gun fires on $52 million Hunter Sports Centre expansion
Work is underway on a $52 million Hunter Sports Centre expansion set to elevate the Glendale facility to a nationally significant sporting venue.
Once complete, the expanded centre will include the new NSW Trampoline Centre of Excellence, an athlete testing facility, a sport and community centre, gym and extra car parking spaces.
The Australian Government committed $10.96 million to the project, while the NSW Government added $13.5 million through its Centre of Excellence Fund and Regional Sport Facility Fund.
Led by Australian-owned construction company Grindley, the project is on track to roll out in three stages.
The first stage includes an already-completed new athlete warm-up area, and a testing facility due for completion by October.
The second involves construction of a new 4500sqm, three-storey sport and community centre, including community, meeting and function rooms, a commercial kitchen and cafe, and a health and fitness centre.
Stage three will deliver Australia’s only Trampoline Centre of Excellence, including a 1300sqm arena with seating for 400 and a 12m-tall ceiling.
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser, Federal Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories Kristy McBain, Federal Member for Hunter Dan Repacholi and NSW Minister for the Hunter Tim Crakanthorp visited the site on Wednesday to formally kick off the project.
Cr Fraser said the expansion would meet the needs of the region’s growing population, with the upgraded centre welcoming almost 600,000 visitors a year.
“This facility will encourage healthy and active lifestyles, create new pathways for local athletic talent and provide a venue for national and international athletics and trampolining competitions,” she said.
Federal Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories Kristy McBain said: “I am delighted to be in the Hunter to see first-hand how investment in major community sporting infrastructure can be a real game-changer for regional communities.”
“I look forward to watching the expanded and upgraded Hunter Sports Centre brought to life over the course of construction.”
Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King said the project was all about delivering a bigger and better Hunter Sports Centre.
“Our investment in this project will firmly establish Lake Macquarie as a premier regional sporting location,” she said.
Federal Member for Hunter Dan Repacholi said the region had been “crying out for a facility like this”.
“It’s great that work has begun on delivering it,” he said.
“We deserve state-of-the-art facilities, and I’m pleased that as a government we are delivering for the people of the Hunter.”
NSW Minister for Sport Steve Kamper said access to state-of-the-art spaces, particularly in regional areas, was vital for the development of athletes.
“It gives them the best opportunity for success as they compete on both the national and international stage,” he said.
“Creating multi-purpose facilities at our Centres of Excellence will help bridge the gap between elite athletes and our grassroots sporting communities, providing recreational and sporting opportunities for the people of NSW.”
NSW Minister for the Hunter Tim Crakanthorp said the Hunter had a rich history of producing sporting champions.
“We want to keep that momentum going,” he said.
“Access to state-of-the-art facilities shouldn’t be about your postcode, and I’m thrilled that a regional area will soon have this amazing, upgraded facility at its doorstep.”
Hunter Sports Centre General Manager Brendan Barrett said the centre would host participants of all abilities, complementing its successful gymnastics program.
“Athletes will be able to progress from beginner to elite accessing a new range of services including athlete testing, strength and conditioning and, of course, trampolining,” he said.
“The Hunter Sports Centre team is working closely with Council to ensure we manage any growing pains that accompany construction. Every effort will be made to achieve business-as-usual.”
The expansion is expected to be completed by late 2024.
For more information about the expansion, go to lakemac.com.au.