Major grandstand repairs
The NSW Department of Land’s Corowa Trust has been granted $27,817 so the Racecourse and Showgrounds can have its famous grandstand repaired.
The application, that Racecourse and Showground Land Manager Jan McKenna said was sent in February this year, was part of the Crown Reserves Improvement Fund Program (CRIFP), and she learned of her application success in late August.
The grandstand was built in 1876, which is also when the racecourse was established.
Ms McKenna said she was extremely thankful for the grant.
“A lot of old grandstands that were built many years ago have fallen into such disrepair and can’t be used at all now, so the upgrades will be really good and help sustain it,” she told The Free Press.
When asked if the grandstand had ever undergone any repairs before, Ms McKenna said “not that I know of” and praised the original builders from more than a century ago, although a fence had to be replaced due to the 2013 tornado.
There will be general maintenance and repairs made to the roof of the grandstand, replacement of guttering, downpipes, the five timber posts at the front of the stand and bad timber in the four gables for safety reasons need major repairs.
Ms McKenna said as the grandstand is used for races throughout the year and also for the annual Corowa Show, the repairs and maintenance are necessary as “the health and safety of the community using this facility need to be safe, which is not the case at the moment”.
Not only will the grandstand be safer to use, but the repairs are expected to also increase aesthetic appeal.
“Crown reserves play an important role in our local communities, with many being home to popular sporting and recreational facilities,” Member for Albury, Greg Aplin said.
“I am pleased to see Corowa Racecourse and Showground will receive $27,817 to maintain and repair the grandstand.”
Minister for Lands and Forestry Paul Toole said the program was focussed on ensuring communities and visitors could continue to enjoy local land and facilities.
“This year we’ve made a record investment into Crown land with more than $20 million in grants and loans being provided across the state,” Mr Toole said.
To date, the NSW Government has invested $115 million across seven years into Crown land projects. CRIF supports Crown reserve managers by providing funding for repairs and maintenance projects, pest and weed control, new recreational infrastructure and environmental initiatives.
Ms McKenna said she can’t see works on the grandstand happening before Christmas, and suggested January as a probable starting point.
The 142-year-old building has been an asset to the Corowa community. This project is one of 442 across the state that received a share of $20million.
The NSW Government has granted the Corowa Showgrounds Trust $27,817 to undergo grandstand repairs. Land Manager Jan McKenna said she can’t wait to see the end result.