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Yet to hit ground running: Sports and Arts precinct development remains in limbo

By Cindy Ngo

June 9, 2015 - Canterbury-Bankstown Express

PLANS to redevelop Belmore Sports Ground remain up in the air as the Bulldogs prepare to host their first NRL game at their spiritual home in 17 years.

It has been well over a year since the Federal Government committed $4 million to the Sydney Multicultural Arts and Sports Precinct but a formal submission for funding has yet to be made to the State Government.

A Sport and Recreation spokesman said "an approach has been received seeking a contribution of $4 million from the NSW Government" towards the development of the precinct at the ground, but "more detailed information" was needed on the project.

"The project partners have been requested to prepare this information and submit it to government," the spokesman said.

Project partners include Canterbury Council, Canterbury League Club, the Bulldogs, Sydney Olympic FC and the Sydney Multicultural Arts Foundation.

Canterbury Council general manager Jim Montague said: "The project team has been working through the State Government process in order to obtain its financial commitment."

Bulldogs chief executive Raelene Castle said the club continued to hold discussions with the State Government to enhance Belmore Sports Ground.

She said the project would add a cultural aspect to the facility, with space for performing arts as well as sports.

Canterbury Council has pledged up to $1.5 million towards the project, while the Bulldogs and Sydney Olympic FC have each committed $1 million.

The project will include two new grandstands, performance and visual arts spaces and a walkway access to nearby railway stations.

However, a spokesman from non-profit organisation Back to Belmore said the project stood a greater chance of securing funding from the State Government if it was developed as a multi-purpose sporting facility.

He said the ground needed to "cater for the wider community, not just one or two sports."

"It will deliver unparalleled joy to aspiring athletes seeking to use the facility." the spokesman said.

The Bulldogs will play Melbourne Storm at Belmore on June 29.


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