THE new Tamworth Regional Playground alongside Bicentennial Park on Kable Ave will be fully functional by the end of 2015, following council’s successful bid for a $1.1 million grant from the NSW government, it was announced yesterday.
The grant will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Tamworth Regional Council with $340,000 from council section 94 contributions and the remaining $760,000 out of the $2.5 million Prince of Wales park sale.
A further $250,000 has been committed from mining company Shenhua, though that investment is subject to whether Shenhua’s Liverpool Plains mining project is approved.
Tamworth mayor Col Murray said the $2.2 million park would be fully funded regardless, but the voluntary planning agreement from Shenhua would be a bonus, freeing up council funds to be spent on other green-space schemes.
Cr Murray said there were minor planning details to iron out but he envisaged work would begin on the site in the next couple of months.
The park must be completed within 18 months under the NSW ClubGrants scheme, though Cr Murray expected it to be finished much sooner, as early as June next year. “The ‘go’ buttons are being pushed on the project,” Cr Murray said.
Parks and horticulture manager Brian Sheedy said he hoped the community would take ownership of the park and said a kiosk and water feature may be on the cards in the design’s fine-tuning.
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson commended the council’s successful grant application that will see the construction of junior and senior play zones, picnic spaces, bike paths and fitness trails.
“This is an important and very welcome project for my community,” Mr Anderson said.