JUNORTOUN is a step closer to a new sporting and community precinct, after Bendigo council agreed to allocate up to $7-million to the first stage of its development.
The new precinct would be at the Catherine McAuley College Coolock Campus.
It would be the home of the Northern Rivers Regional Cricket Hub and Cricket Victoria's regional office.
It would also cater for a range of activities, used by both the college and the community.
The city and Mercy Education, which operates Catherine McAuley College, are in talks about a joint use and development agreement.
They have been working together to plan and design the precinct for the past 18 months, alongside Sport and Recreation Victoria and Cricket Victoria.
The project received a $500,000 grant from the Sport and Recreation Victoria Community Cricket Program. It is expected to consist of two stages.
Two sports ovals, two synthetic cricket pitches, two netball courts, lighting, a social room, kiosk, change rooms, visitor amenities and accessible facilities are among the features planned for the first stage.
The college would construct indoor cricket training facilities, an indoor multisport stadium and the Northern Rivers Regional Cricket administrative hub.
Additional sports ovals, change rooms and amenities, community spaces and viewing areas are likely to form part of a second stage.
The second stage has yet to be funded and agreed to by all partners.
The city will contribute $7m toward building the joint use facilities in stage one and half of the ongoing operational costs of those areas.
Mercy Education and Catherine McAuley College would contribute the balance of the construction and ongoing maintenance costs.
Bendigo mayor Margaret O'Rourke said the demand for sporting and community facilities grew with the city's population.
"Junortoun is a growing part of Greater Bendigo and the community need access to great facilities like this development," Cr O'Rourke said.
She said the precinct would be used by the college during school hours and available for community use outside of them.
"By sharing costs, we reduce the overall cost to the community and improve the quality of local facilities. It's a win-win situation," Cr O'Rourke said.
Catherine McAuley College principal Brian Turner said joint sporting precinct had been imagined, from day one, as "vibrant community asset that will activate this site seven days a week, sixteen hours a day."
"We are very grateful to Council for their leadership and agency on behalf of the many local sporting clubs that will benefit," he said.