By Mick Roberts
June 5, 2013 - The Torch
WORK could get underway on a new community arts and sports precinct at Belmore Sports Ground before the end of the year if addtional funding is secured from the NSW Government.
Federal Minister for Regional Development, Anthony Albanese, was at Belmore on Mounday to announce $4 million in funding to develop an additional 1,700 grandstand seats at the southern end of the main ground, and the adjoining Peter Moore Field. The federal funding will include the development of dedicated performing and visual art spaces and a pathway linking the precinct to the Belmore shopping centre.
Mr Albanese said the home of the NRL's Bulldogs and Sydney Olympic football would become a precinct attracting international events, while boosting the local arts scene.
Construction beginning before the year's end hinges on the NSW Government pitching in additional funding, a spokesperson from Federal MP for Watson, Tony Burke's office said. That decision should be known by the end of the month.
Mr Burke said the precinct was already home for multicultural engagement in sport.
"Now our diverse area will have a home for art, performance and music," he said.
The project will provide employment for artists and personnel involved in staging exhibitions, performances and events.
Bulldogs Chairman Ray Dib said that with his club's administration offices now complete, this latest round of funding would make Belmore available to the wider community. He said he looked forward to the latest developments.
Community group, Back to Belmore - advocates for upgrading the grounds - have welcomed the announcement.
"We are very optimistic that Belmore Sports Ground's best days now lie ahead," president Luke Brailey said.