Push to use Seaford sports hub

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Saints march out: Tenants are being sought for St Kilda’s former training base. Picture: Gary Sissons

EXPRESSIONS of interest are open at the former training base of the St Kilda Football Club in Seaford.

The site had been used by the Saints as their home base from 2010 up until 2018. 

After a short stay, St Kilda FC made the call to move into their revamped home at Moorabbin, leaving the Linen House facility mostly vacant.

Ratepayer money had been used as part of the deal to entice the Saints to Seaford. Council has now put out the invitation to businesses to become a partner tenant at the site.

Despite abandoning the site, its future use will be subject to a lease renegotiation with St Kilda Football Club. The expression of interest document reads that “St Kilda Football Club continues to have lease hold interest in the facility and any future decisions regarding use/tenants of the site will be subject to future negotiations and agreements between Frankston City Council and the St Kilda Football Club.”

Frankston mayor Michael O’Reilly said that the current lease signed by the St Kilda Football Club doesn’t expire until 2059. He said “St Kilda FC representatives will not form part of the assessment panel that will make recommendations to council. The future use of the facility will be subject to a renegotiated lease arrangement with the club, given they presently still hold the lease for the site.”

“St Kilda FC have supported council in undertaking this EOI process ahead of future negotiations, and are eager to see new services and activities taking place at the venue that will achieve greater community benefit,” he said.

“The club’s elite teams have returned to their former grounds in Moorabbin, however a small number on the club’s administrative staff still operate from the facility and will likely continue to do so into the future. The facility is also used as part of the clubs next generation academy and to facilitate community outreach programs.”

The Saints’ move into Seaford was a move which proved highly controversial among football circles. Former St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt told Fox Sports last year that the move from Moorabbin “crushed the group at the time.”

The site has rebranded to be called the Frankston Health and Wellbeing Hub. Cr O’Reilly said it was a “great opportunity for innovative and community minded organisations and businesses to become a part of the facility.”

“If you are looking to locate somewhere progressive, supportive, and future looking in the arena of community wellbeing, sports and primary health, this may be your future home,” he said.

“The Frankston Community Wellbeing and Fitness Hub is a great location in the heart of the local community.

“With world class sports and sports recovery facilities, water therapy pool, community program and meeting spaces, theatrette and state of the art audio visual and digital infrastructure, it is an outstanding facility and I am excited to see what the future holds. The facility has an AFL competition grade oval and matching community and sports facilities nearby.”

The Seaford Football Club have used the facilities to play while works on RF Miles Reserve are being undertaken. 

More information at frankston.vic.gov.au/belvedereEOI

First published in the Frankston Times – 4 November 2019

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