UP to 30 hours a week of community access to Hawthorn FC’s new Dingley training facility has been sought by Kingston Council.
The memorandum of understanding signed by Kingston Council last month means that council has agreed to provide the club $5 million for the project, subject to some conditions. Kingston Council has confirmed that it expects 20-30 hours of community access of a “community oval” in exchange for the funding.
Kingston mayor Steve Staikos said the project is a “cost-effective way to meet the growing demand for sporting facilities while providing good value for money for ratepayers. Developing community sporting facilities like this would cost council around $15 million if we were to go it alone, so working together with Hawthorn to use their land is a smart move.”
“Sport is booming in our region with growing participation particularly in footy played by women and girls. The new community oval will help transform a former landfill in the Green Wedge site into much-needed community facilities to serve generations to come,” he said.
“We are proud to take the first step towards a strong partnership with Hawthorn Football Club through signing the memorandum of understanding and we look forward to nailing down the details in order to proceed with the project.”
In an announcement on the club’s website, Hawthorn FC Chief Executive Officer Justin Reeves said “the council commitment to proceed to a formal agreement is another pivotal step in our journey to building a once in a generation sporting and community facility which the wider south-eastern community and region can be a part of.”
“On behalf of the entire club, I would like to acknowledge and thank the Kingston City Council for their willingness to partner with the club, and their support of our vision; a collaborative partnership which has spanned more than five years,” he said. “The community oval and pavilion at the Kennedy Community Centre will provide local sporting groups with an elite sporting facility, generating greater pathways for women’s football and also increasing active and passive participation in sport across the region.”