THE Terang Harness Racing Club stables and facilities could be set for a facelift soon.
Member for Polwarth Richard Riordan joined Leader of the Nationals Peter Walsh on Tuesday to announce a Liberal Nationals Government would provide $1.1 million towards a planned redevelopment of the facilities, if it was elected in November.
The project would see the construction of a 117-metre-long stabling facility with open stalls, as well as a community hub joining onto the existing Silks Room.
Mr Walsh said the redevelopment would be a “resort for the horses”.
“It’s a win-win for the community,” he said.
Mr Walsh congratulated the local community and Mr Riordan for their planning and fundraising work on the project so far.
“Richard Riordan has been doing extensive work with the local community to secure this upgrade for the Terang Harness Racing Club and has advocated strongly for this funding,” he said.
“A Liberal Nationals Government will continue to support proactive racing clubs with investments that benefit the clubs and wider communities.”
The Terang Harness Owners, Trainers and Supporters Group has already raised about $300,000 for the project, while Corangamite Shire Council has allocated $50,000 for the construction of the community hub.
Club president Evan Savage said the project had been about five years in the making.
“It’s been a long haul,” he said.
Mr Savage said the updated facilities would mean horses could use the stables all year round.
“People are going to be able to bring their horses in the middle of winter,” he said.
“It might mean that we get an extra five to 10 horses here.”
Mr Savage said the new community hub could house a range of community events or act as a refuge site during times of emergency.
The tender process opened recently, with demolition of the current stables facility expected to take place in March next year and construction to start in April.
Mr Riordan said the commitment to the centre was “significant” and would benefit the greater Terang region.
“This is going to be an exciting centre that our whole community can use and be proud of,” he said.
“It’s going to be a great facility for our local harness racing stars, young and old, for years to come.”
The club has also sought funding for the project through the State Government’s Pick My Project scheme.