New pavilion makes its mark

Published on 29 October 2019

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Sport continues to be a big winner in Nillumbik with the opening last night of the new $3 million Research Park Pavilion.

Nillumbik Mayor Karen Egan and Deputy Mayor Bruce Ranken officially opened the pavilion in conjunction with Eltham MP Vicki Ward, who was representing Local Government Minister Adem Somyurek. 

The $3 million redevelopment at the park, which is home to the Research Junior Football Club and Research Eltham Collegians Cricket Club, includes a double-storey pavilion with player, umpire and community facilities. 

Nillumbik Mayor Karen Egan said the upgrade included the addition of two much-needed female change rooms and facilities for female umpires. 

“This wonderful new facility is a win for our whole community and, importantly, caters for the growing number of females in sport,” she said. 

“Both the football and cricket clubs have had increasing numbers of female members over the past few years. 

“But the growth of female participation in sport locally has been restricted by the lack of facilities and I’m pleased we are smashing these barriers here in Research.” 

Nillumbik Council contributed $1.69 million to the project as well as $265,000 for the upcoming car park works. 

The State Government provided $950,000 through the Growing Suburbs Fund ($650,000) with a $100,000 grant from Sport and Recreation Victoria and $200,000 in funding through a State Government election commitment in 2014. 

The football and cricket clubs raised $130,000 for the pavilion.

The pavilion features an upstairs community hall with kitchen, bar and meeting rooms overlooking the grounds. Downstairs are four player change rooms, umpire change rooms and an accessible toilet and lift. 

Deputy Mayor Bruce Ranken, who is also the social infrastructure portfolio councillor, said the new pavilion was long overdue. 

“The previous sports pavilion on this site was ageing and no longer fit for purpose,” Cr Ranken said. 

“Council listened to what the community had to say and now we have this modern all-inclusive facility. 

“Well done to the clubs for making this happen. This project shows what can be done with people power.”