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Smith Park to undergo multimillion-dollar upgrade

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The Newcastle Junior Cricket Association (NJCA) is bowled over by the multimillion-dollar upgrade, scheduled for Smith Park.

Work will get underway at the popular Hamilton North sportsground in coming weeks after City of Newcastle (CN) councillors unanimously voted to award the contract for the project.

New drainage and irrigation, the realignment of fields used for football, Oztag and cricket, as well as the repositioning of three synthetic cricket wickets, are slated to take place.

The enhancement to the 56,000sqm site is being delivered by CN with support from a $2.5 million grant secured by the association through the NSW Government’s Multi-Sport Community Facility Fund.

NJCA president Andrew Cornwell said the organisation was delighted to partner with the other parties to present the much-needed upgrade to Smith Park.

“This $2.5 million investment will provide top-quality playing conditions for the next generation of Newcastle’s young cricketers,” he added.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes explained the project aligned with the Newcastle 2040 Community Strategic Plan.

“Newcastle 2040 calls for the community to be engaged in local planning to help create quality parkland and recreation facilities, promoting active and healthy communities, and ensuring people of all abilities can enjoy our public spaces,” she said.

“Council’s received positive feedback following community consultation regarding the draft Smith Park Masterplan and the stage one works.

“We’ll continue to engage with them throughout the development of the masterplan to ensure the requirements of our residents are considered.”

CN’s Sports Infrastructure Working Party chair Peta Winney-Baartz said the stage one works were “just the beginning” for Smith Park.

“The second phase of the masterplan forms part of our Strategic Sport Plan 2020 and is designed to address future demand and inform the ongoing improvements to our sporting infrastructure,” she stated.

“Future works proposed for Smith Park include a community building, upgraded carparks and footpaths, new lighting, a multi-sports court and the upgrade of cricket practice nets.

“Time and time again, the Strategic Sport Plan 2020 provides us with a platform to work with our local sporting organisations.

“It helps City of Newcastle align our priorities and facilitate successful grant applications, enhancing our already positive relationships with clubs and officials.”

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