Northern NSW Football hopes to host national teams at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility with a third stage of development.
NNSWF and the state government announced funding on Thursday for a $3 million stage two project at the Speers Point site next to the region’s $11.3 million home of football opened in 2014. NNSWF contributed $750,000 to the government’s $2.25 million for the new stage, which takes in building of lighting, change rooms, referees’ and first-aid areas, a seminar room, office space and storage around LMRFF’s turf pitch. NNSWF chief David Eland said a grant application to the federal government for a $400,000 renovation of the pitch was also in the works.
“We want to be able to attract international clubs and hopefully host the Matildas and Socceroos and the building will certainly meet that criteria, then we need a great surface as well,” Eland said.
He added NNSWF contributions had come from the LMRFF’s operations, not from a levy-driven facilities funding scheme.
“We had to come up with a minimum of 25 per cent, and thankfully the business is sustainable and we’re able to make that investment and take advantage of the grant,” Eland said.
“It’s a great boost for the sport. The $750,000 is not from the facilities funding scheme, that is exclusive to member zones and clubs and we will make $335,000 available to applications from November 1.”
He said the turf field has been underused because of the absence of amenities and lighting.
Stage three will entail renovating the pitch with new drainage, irrigation and laying of a first-class turf surface.
Stage two construction will start next year.