LAKE Macquarie Regional Football Facility will undergo a $3m upgrade that will include an education centre and improvements designed to increase the chances of hosting national and international events.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald will announce on Thursday a $2.25m grant for the project through the State Government's Regional Sports Infrastructure Fund. Northern NSW Football will contribute $750,000.
The development includes the construction of a multi-purpose building, improvements to lighting and turf playing surface as well as new change rooms.
“This is fantastic news not just for Northern NSW Football but for the Lake Macquarie region,” Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper said. “ The facility not only provides first-class facilities for locals, it has put us on the map nationally and even internationally, so I again applaud everyone involved.”
The facility at Speers Point has hosted a number of state and national junior tournaments.
The Matildas will take on Chile at McDonald Jones Stadium on November 13 and there has been a push by Newcastle City Council for the national women's team to be based in the region.
Football Federation Australia are bidding to host the 2023 FIFA women's World Cup. If successful, McDonald Jones Stadium is a likely venue and competing teams could use the region as a training base in the lead up.
Stage one of the Lake Macquarie facility, which is the home to Northern NSW Football, was completed in 2014 at a cost of $11.3m and consists of 14 synthetic pitches, including two full-sized fields, change rooms, meeting rooms, cafe and administration complex.