Arena gets funds

By Country News

Benalla’s Raise the Roof committee chair Melissa Mounsey literally jumped for joy as she received a cheque for $250000 towards the project.

The Raise the Roof committee has been fundraising for a number of years to have a new indoor equestrian arena built in Benalla.

Thanks to funding from the Victorian Government that dream is now close to becoming reality.

State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes joined Labor’s candidate for Euroa Fionna Deppeler-Morton at the Benalla Equestrian Centre to make the announcement recently.

Benalla Rural City Council Acting Mayor Peter Davis and Crs Bernie Hearn and Danny Claridge were also present as Ms Mounsey, flanked by a crowd of enthusiastic club members, accepted a large novelty cheque.

‘‘It’s been an amazing journey and we’ve worked with some amazing people; the amount of volunteer hours donated and the passion people have shown has been fantastic,’’ Ms Mounsey said.

‘‘This is so exciting for the equestrian community and our little town of Benalla, so we’re really thrilled.’’

The funding will provide an all-weather facility with floodlighting, creating a key regional equestrian facility able to host more events, including those at the highest level of the sport.

The $392000 project is being jointly funded by fundraising efforts, the council and the government’s Community Sport Infrastructure Fund.

State Member for Euroa Steph Ryan has congratulated the Raise the Roof committee on its efforts in securing the funding.

‘‘The group has been committed to this project for several years now, fundraising $100000 towards the arena themselves.

‘‘In July this year I announced that if elected in November, the Nationals would pledge $250000 to the project.

‘‘It is wonderful to see that regardless of the election outcome, the Benalla Sports and Equestrian Centre will benefit from a state-of-the-art centre.’’