Confirmation of a successful Lotteries Grant application for $500,000 has delighted proponents of the development of a multi-sport turf in Waipukurau, who say the vision can now become a reality, as soon as next year.
In the pipeline for about three years, the facility spearheaded by the Central Hawke's Bay District Community Trust was part of an overall upgrade to Central Hawke's Bay's sporting hub at Russell Park, and will be available for multiple sporting groups and codes in all weather.
Trustee Di Petersen said they were thrilled to have secured such a significant amount of funding for the project.
"The redevelopment of Russell Park will help to support the health and wellbeing of Central Hawke's Bay's residents while enriching social connections and building community spirit and identity.
"The trust is confident that the turf will be well-used and it is likely there will be other uses which will develop when it is up and running in the new year."
The CHB District Council supported the facility by providing the land, funding of $250,000 and project management support for the trust.
The turf would be built on council-owned land, with the facility being owned by the trust and leased by Aqua Management Ltd, Mrs Petersen said.
The project included a full-sized hockey turf, three asphalt netball courts with fencing and lights (and additional courts for junior netballers).
Sporting groups already confirmed to use the turf were hockey, netball, football, futsal and softball. Schools would also use it during and after school.
The latest funding top-up added to more than $900,000 the trust had already raised through the council as well as the likes of Eastern and Central Community Trust, Waipukurau Rotary, Mr Apple, local business and individuals.
"There's been a huge amount of fabulous people in the community who have supported it, including local businesses who have committed to putting signage up around the park, and individuals are still able to buy $500 tiles engraved with their names that will be put in alongside the pathways within the turf."
She said work was due to start on the turf in February or March next year, with the aim to be ready by the winter sports season.
Usage of the turf would be 'user pays' and consultation had taken place with Hawke's Bay Netball and Central Hawke's Bay Hockey to set a rate that was affordable and acceptable for the community, Mrs Petersen said.