Northern NSW Football clubs have received almost $3 million from the NSW government’s Regional Sports Facility Fund.
The NSW government has committed $50 million to the fund over two years, helping create spaces and facilities that enable communities to enjoy and take part in sport.
The state government allocated $25 million to round one for 2020-21, with eight projects associated with Northern NSW Football clubs successful in applications totalling $2,897,553.
This equates to almost 12 per cent of the entire funding pool, with five of Northern NSW Football’s member zones represented including Hunter Valley Football, Macquarie Football, Newcastle Football, Northern Inland Football and Football Far North Coast.
Participating – Places to Play is a key strategic priority in Northern NSW Football’s Play On! 2021-23 Strategic Plan with six strategic initiatives outlined.
Northern NSW Football, in collaboration with Football NSW, launched a state-wide Infrastructure Strategy in October last year designed to address the need for significant investment in facilities over the next 10 years.
The strategy focuses on the upgrade of crucial infrastructure across the state including lighting, pitches and changing facilities.
Northern NSW Football also have local infrastructure strategies specific to the needs of each of its seven member zones.
Northern NSW Football CEO David Eland said the successful applications reaffirmed NNSWF’s Facilities Strategy and advocacy.
“It’s no coincidence that football clubs through northern NSW are securing much-needed funding for facility projects,” Eland said.
“These types of successful facility projects will help increase participation and accessibility and facilitate quality football experiences in a safe and welcoming environment.”
Port Stephens Council received $840,000 and $260,000 for upgrades to the King Park Regional Sport Complex and Tomaree Regional Sport Complex respectively.
Weston Workers Football Club received $498,000 for lighting upgrades at the NPL NNSW club’s home at Rockwell Automation Park.
Football Far North Coast club Mullumbimby Brunswick Valley FC will receive $290,000 and $139,000 for upgrades to their playing surface and lighting at their home ground.
While Tamworth Regional Council will receive $400,000 as part of the Tamworth Riverside Three Lighting Project at Riverside Park.
Northern NSW Football invested in specialist grant application consultants who, in collaboration with clubs and NNSWF, compiled and submitted a number of the successful grant applications.
“In a number of cases our Community Football team here at Northern NSW Football identified club projects that aligned with various local infrastructure strategies and provided support and access to our consultants to assist our applicants,” Eland said.
“This included direct support of the application process in some cases and supplying letters of support in others.
“This really is a great result and we’re hopeful that there is plenty more to come.”
Applications for round two of the Regional Sports Facility Fund open soon.
Clubs are encouraged to discuss their potential infrastructure projects or grant applications with NNSWF Senior Officer – Community Football Ross Hicks (firstname.lastname@example.org).