Warrnambool Racing Club seeking federal government funding to help bring master plan to life

CROWD-PLEASER: Warrnambool Racing Club is renowned for its three-day May Racing Carnival.
CROWD-PLEASER: Warrnambool Racing Club is renowned for its three-day May Racing Carnival.

WARRNAMBOOL Racing Club is seeking funding assistance from the federal government as part of a multi-million dollar upgrade to rejuvenate infrastructure and facilities at the racecourse.

A regional development grant is being sought to kick-start the 10-year master plan which the club hopes will take it to the next level as an entertainment and racing venue.

Significant enhancements are proposed under the master plan including expanding the Matilda Room to join the Members Grandstand and the placement of an owner-trainers bar, winning owners bar and a cafeteria in the new facility.

WRC chairman Nick Rule told The Standard the existing facilities were “tired and need” updating to give patrons a better experience when they go to the course for functions or race meetings.

“Our master plan provides a framework for the ongoing management and development of the course to ensure it continues to grow and improve,” Rule said.

“We’ve taken the first step in the process by applying for federal funding in December.

“The club has the support from the Member for Wannon Dan Tehan for the project.

“We’ve got some big-ticket items in the master plan including joining the Matilda Room and the exisiting Members Grandstand but they are things we must do if we are to grow our crowd numbers for our three-day May Carnival and other events.”

Rule, who is in his first year as chairman, said the club would seek funding from Racing Victoria, Country Racing Victoria and the state government for the projects.

“Once we get up and going we’ll be asking for funding from key parties,” he said.

“The club is planning for the future. There are some things in the master plan which don’t cost a lot of money like beautifying various areas up around the course and we aim to start them in the near future but the big-ticket items will need major funding.

“We’re talking about a few million dollars to get all the major items done.”

The club is yet to prioritise items in the master plan but it hopes to at its January 25 committee meeting.