Illabo’s showgrounds will receive its cut of more than $3 million following a state government announcement.
Under the stipulation of the NSW government’s Crown Land Improvement, 12 community projects in the Cooatmundra electorate will receive grants amount to $776,000.
An additional two projects will be given loans totalling $2.8 million.
The more than $100,000 allocated to the Illabo Showgrounds will go towards improving the facilities, and repairing damage caused by the 2016 floods that forced the cancellation of the annual town show.
“Part of the money will go towards fixing it,” said showgrounds president David Carter.
“The big wet that year meant the pavilion was too damaged to use, and we’ve long been looking to fix it.”
Remaining funds will go towards replacing the almost historic bathrooms.
“The showers are about 30 years old and just not meeting the standards anymore,” said Mr Carter.
The success of this funding application represents a culmination of at least two year’s work, with the showgrounds team and council have consistently applied for between one to three state trusts each year.
“We’ve been seeking funding every year for so long now it’s great to have finally got some,” said Mr Carter.
By the law of averages, Mr Carter says he is not surprised to have finally come to the top of the funding queue.
“With the help of this money we can bring the showgrounds back to their former glory and bring some big shows back to the town.”
Although the funds will go ways to restoring the damaged grounds, completion will rely on the town’s fundraising and donations of in-kind labour.
“We’re looking at about $30,000 needed on top of the grant to get everything done,” said Mr Carter.
“The community has always proven its commitment, so no doubt we’ll get there.”
With the 98th Illabo Show to be held on October 13, the announcement has been well timed.
Mr Carter believes it is the sort of news that will bring up the town’s spirit.
“No matter what kind of year it’s been, it’s always important to have community events like these, but in tougher times it’s all the more important to highlight the good the country has to offer,” Mr Carter said.
Preliminary projections have cast the work’s completion date sometime in February 2019.
“Once we get started, it should only take a month. But it’ll be all ready for next year’s show.”