KEMPSEY Showground is riding a winner after receiving almost $200,000 to improve facilities for horse activities.
The local facility is one of six showgrounds in the Oxley electorate to to benefit from $1.28 million in funding as part of the NSW Government COVID-19 stimulus package.
In an announcement by local MP Melinda Pavey this morning, Kempsey Showground is to get $198,000 for restoration work on stables and to develop a dressage arena.
Mrs Pavey said Wauchope, Dorrigo, Bellingen, Macksville and Comboyne showgrounds will also receive funding - to upgrade and improve the safety, use and condition of their infrastructure and support jobs in the local economy.
"When COVID-19 hit it forced the postponement or cancellation of agricultural shows and many activities showgrounds rely on for their income," Mrs Pavey said.
"This investment by the NSW Government will provide a welcome boost for our local showgrounds and the communities they serve by supporting tradies and suppliers with work and strengthening showground infrastructure for the future."
Upgrades in the local area will include:
$625,000 for Wauchope Showground to replace two old wooden grandstands and replace three old wooden stables with new steel stables
$203,500 for Dorrigo Showground to add a roof to the cutting horse arena
$198,000 for Kempsey Showground for restoration work on stables and to develop a dressage arena
$176,980 for Bellingen Showground for construction of a covered arena area
$65,000 for electrical upgrade work at Macksville Showground
$14,795 for Comboyne Showground to install new sewer and wastewater lines.
"Showgrounds are multi-use facilities for a range of groups and activities from agricultural shows, rodeos and horse clubs to farmers markets, festivals, camping, men's sheds, and sport and cultural events," Mrs Pavey said.
"During the bushfires our showgrounds were at the heart of many communities serving as evacuation centres for residents and their animals and relief posts for weary firefighters so want to keep them in good shape for the future."
$25 million will be spent all up to improve showgrounds across the State.
"$12.5 million is being allocated immediately to get projects underway at 137 showgrounds this financial year under the NSW Government's COVID-19 Stimulus Package," Mrs Pavey said.
"We will then follow through by allocating another $12.5 million for more work across more showgrounds to be announced next financial year to keep the ball rolling during the coronavirus economic recovery phase."