$2m for Bendigo Showgrounds upgrade

THE 2012 Bendigo Sheep Show will be one of the big winners with the Bendigo Showgrounds set to receive a major upgrade by way of a new pavilion with the Coalition Government honouring a key election commitment.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan and Member for Northern Victoria Region Damian Drum today announced $2 million of Victorian Coalition Government support for the Bendigo Showgrounds redevelopment.

“The Coalition Government is pleased to help fund Stage 2 of the Bendigo Exhibition Centre project, made possible through the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund,” Mr Ryan said.

“Showgrounds play a vital role in our regional and rural communities and this important project will ensure Bendigo can continue attracting bigger and better agricultural events.”

Mr Ryan said the Bendigo Agricultural Show Society had a great history of accomplishment dating back to 1859 and the Coalition was pleased to help secure the show’s future.

“The Bendigo Exhibition Centre Stage 2 project is part of the Bendigo Showground Masterplan, which is a leading example of how show societies can forecast and plan for regional events of the future,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said the $3.1 million Stage 2 project included a $300,000 contribution from the Bendigo Show Society, $600,000 from the Australian Sheep Breeders Association and $250,000 from City of Greater Bendigo.

“The Stage 2 project has been revised after the Bendigo Show Society was unsuccessful in its bid to attract $2.5 million of Federal Government funding,” Mr Ryan said.

The project involves the construction of a 6,150 square metre pavilion to be used for the sheep show and indoor equestrian events. The Pavilion includes foyer and meeting space and general amenities to ensure flexible use for show and exhibition purposes.

Mr Drum said the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund played a key role in driving growth and prosperity in regional cities and country communities.

“The construction of the new Pavilion is expected to be completed and operational in time for the July 2012 Sheep Show,” Mr Drum said.

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