It took four attempts to get there, but Wangaratta has finally convinced the federal government to grant the $4.4 million required to redevelop the city’s Indoor Sports and Aquatic Centre.
The money, granted under the Building Better Regions Fund infrastructure projects stream, was announced on Tuesday.
Wangaratta Council has tried for the money every year since 2015, but just missed out each time.
Mayor Ken Clarke said the funding had been a long time coming, but he was grateful.
The money will allow council to build a new 50-metre outdoor pool and toddler wading pool, which will complement the existing 25-metre indoor pool.
The development will benefit lap swimmers, education programs and put the city in a position to hold regional swimming and water polo tournaments.
The Victorian government announced funding for a new hydrotherapy pool in 2016 and Cr Clarke said the federal contribution meant both projects could be constructed together.
“We’re ready to start straight away so we will now finalise our borrowings for our share of it,” he said.
“It is a relief because councillors had been concerned how long it had been taking (to win the funding).”
The aquatics project has been listed in the council’s capital works budget with approval, just in case the day came when its application was approved.
Senator Bridget McKenzie also announced Bonegilla Migrant Experience would receive $534,177 to refurbish its buildings, create outdoor infrastructure and develop connections to major cycling and walking trails.
“This will have major flow-on benefits across the community including increased tourism, employment and volunteering opportunities, ensuring the Bonegilla Migrant Experience and the Wodonga region will continue to thrive and prosper into the future,” she said.
“We are committed to assisting our regional communities in reaching their true potential.”
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