Batemans Bay will receive $26 million in NSW Government funds for the long awaited aquatic and arts centre.
The planned multi-pool aquatic centre will receive the lion’s share of the grant funding – $18 million, and the arts centre will receive $8 million.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Bega MP Andrew Constance today announced the funding to an appreciative crowd at the Soldiers Club.
Long-term pool campaigners Carolyn and Jackie Harding, determined arts lobbyist Jeannie Brewer and Eurobodalla Shire Mayor Liz Innes welcomed the funds.
Ms Berejiklian said the new aquatic facility would house four new pools, including an indoor heated 25-metre pool, an indoor warm-water program pool, a free-form indoor leisure pool with interactive water features, a heated indoor learn to swim pool, as well as a gym, wellness area, water slides and amenities.
The cultural facility, on the same site, will include a purpose-built exhibition and performance centre, as well as workshop and storage space for the region’s 18 art, dance and theatre groups.
“We all know how important sporting and cultural facilities are to regional communities and this facility is set to become a centrepiece of the Batemans Bay community,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“It will be state-of-the-art, and will provide a place where community members can come together, be active, and take part in activities that enrich their lives.
“The many arts and theatre groups in the region will now have a new and impressive home for the 800 events they host between them every year, including regional arts festivals and prizes.”
The $26 million in funding includes $18 million for the aquatic centre, and $8 million for the arts and cultural facilities. The funding will come from the NSW Government’s $1.3 billion Regional Growth Fund.
Mr Constance said the announcement was great news for the local community.
“This is a massive investment in the lifestyles and wellbeing of people in Eurobodalla,” Mr Constance said.
“The existing pool was built in 1966, so it’s high-time Batemans Bay got an aquatic centre that’s modern and meets the needs of the community.
“Extensive community consultation has shown there is incredible public support for this project, so it’s pleasing, as the local member, to deliver it.
“The region is one that swells significantly with visitors during peak holiday seasons, so not only will this facility be a boon for locals, it will also be a huge attraction for the thousands of visitors that make their way to our patch every year,” he said.
Cr Innes said the grant was “a real vote of confidence in our region from the NSW Government”.
“To have the Premier here with Andrew to announce the funding shows me how important they believe an arts and aquatic centre is for Eurobodalla,” she said.
“This is a centre that will create 184 full time jobs during construction and 39 full time jobs once open.
“The centre will be a meeting place for all our community, a place where the talents of our kids can grow and be explored, a place of imagination and creativity.
“Our community has been calling for a purpose-built arts centre and an indoor, year-round aquatic centre for years and years. Today I feel more confident than ever that we can get this centre built. We’ve never been closer to achieving this dream. It really is time for us to start getting excited.”