Riverfront funding push will continue

Horsham Rural City Council will continue to advocate for external funding to activate the city’s riverfront following its unsuccessful application to the Victorian Government’s Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program.

Sport and Recreation Victoria (SRV) this week announced grants totalling $68 million across the state but there was no money for Horsham.

Council in June applied for $3 million to develop a natural water play area between Horsham Caravan Park and Horsham City Rowing Club.

Chief Executive Officer Sunil Bhalla said Council would keep working to attract state and federal government grants.

“We are disappointed to have missed out this round. But it is exciting to see some important projects funded in our wider Wimmera region,” Mr Bhalla said.

“We understand that the funding round was highly oversubscribed and we encourage both the state and federal governments to provide more COVID stimulus funding in the sport and active recreation space.”

Mr Bhalla said the concept of a natural water play area was strongly supported by the local community.

“Our project is shovel ready and can start construction early next year. The Community Reference Group have worked very hard with Council and landscape designers to create plans for the all-year-round natural play area that will be a regional focus for tourism and economic recovery,” he said.

“The project will have a high impact on both economic recovery and active recreation.

“The community has told us that enhancing the riverfront precinct is a high priority and bringing in new investment will help our recovery from COVID-19. So we will develop an advocacy strategy that is aimed at delivering both of those results,” Mr Bhalla said.

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