Laurieton Stingrays appear to be the big winners from a one-and-a-half million dollar upgrade of Vince Inmon Sporting Complex.
The construction of a grandstand on what is currently a hill at Laurieton Oval is set to start in August with the completion of the first stage of the project expected by the end of the year, weather permitting.
Stingrays president Jarryd Gaskin said the facility was now starting to feel like a traditional home venue for the club after almost a decade of hard work.
"It's been seven years in the making, but we're starting to get there and are now revamping the whole complex," he said.
"It's pretty much a Camden Haven sporting hub; it's alive every Tuesday and Thursday night and especially on a Saturday with a lot of people. Getting the grandstand will be a massive boost for the area."
The development is another step towards being an upgraded venue after some minor facelifts in recent months.
"The changerooms and canteen have been getting a facelift in the last couple of weeks from a grant of $140,000 along with some new footpaths," Gaskin said.
The upgrade will benefit not only the Stingrays, but other sporting groups who use the ground such as Little Athletics and Camden Haven Cricket Club.
"It's going to benefit all the sporting clubs especially Little A's and cricket who will use the oval as well," Gaskin said.
"This is the first of four stages; we'll have a two-storey building, then a grandstand and a lift in the first stage.
"The next stage will be a concrete pavilion that will come out the side of the building with a roof over it and a wrap around balcony so you can look over the junior fields."
Gaskin said it will put the Stingrays on the map.
"It's going to make us stand out from a lot of other clubs and make us be like a proper professional club," he said.
Funding will be made up of $920,000 from the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council budget as well as $200,000 from a local roads and infrastructure grant along with $300,000 from Crown Lands reserve.
The upgrade will also include female-friendly change rooms and the provision of accessible amenities and change rooms with an internal lift.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council mayor Peta Pinson said the project would be beneficial for not only the Stingrays but for all user groups who utilise the complex.
"This project is a really excellent example of the community approaching council, asking us for something they need - and it all coming together from there," she said.
"It has been a grassroots movement, with all the local sporting clubs involved."
The facility will be able to cater for the growing sporting community in the region and "it is wonderful to see it coming to fruition".
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