Port Fairy Cricket Club’s push for indoor stadium

A NEW indoor sporting stadium is on the drawing board at Port Fairy.

The Port Fairy Cricket Club wants to build a multi-sports centre at Southcombe Park,  beside Belfast Aquatics.

The facility is expected to cost about $260,000, with $80,000 in cash and in-kind donations contributed by the cricket club.

It urged the Moyne Shire Council this week to support the project by including funding in its 2014-15 budget.

Cricket Victoria has also been approached to help fund the centre and an interest-free loan is being investigated through the Port Fairy Folk Festival.

In a submission to council’s meeting this week, the club urged Moyne Shire to redirect money that had been earmarked in the draft budget to the new centre. It suggested $23,000 for fencing and $30,000 for water meters at Southcombe Park should go to the facility instead.

Failing that, the club wants the council to allocate $20,000 in the budget and then provide access to the community assistance fund over the next three years to the tune of $10,000 a year. 

Club president Damian Gleeson said the club was hoping to have the centre built by December.

Mr Gleeson said the club had to vacate its facilities each February, forgoing home games as the Folk Festival venues were set up, staged and then dismantled.

“The guts of this is that for six weeks at the business end of the cricket season we lose our facilities,” Mr Gleeson said.

“We don’t mind doing this because we support the festival, which is great for Port Fairy, but this is a way we can solve the problem we have of giving up our training base.”

Mr Gleeson said the club had been discussing the possibility of a new indoor training centre for the past four years.

While having a year-round training base was the main reason for the club wanting to construct the centre, Mr Gleeson said benefits would go “way beyond” the club.

He said the facility would be self-sufficient as it could be used by the district’s other cricket clubs, schools and as a ticket exchange facility  for the Folk Festival.

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