Valentine-Eleebana Cricket Club set to expand under state grant

VALENTINE-Eleebana Cricket Club is looking forward to moving into a more permanent home after living out of two shipping containers for the past few seasons.

The club has been living off the generosity of Valentine-Eleebana Netball Club and has been campaigning for a new clubhouse.

Both clubs have outgrown their facilities, with the cricket club now boasting 180 members and the netball club 450.

After two failed attempts, the cricket club has gained its first state government grant to expand the netball club, which will include three store rooms and a meeting room they can both share.

The clubs obtained a $25,000 grant from the Community Building Partnership Grants program last week, which the clubs expect to be matched by Lake Macquarie council.

The clubs hope more funds will flow from the state government during the next 18 months, with $160,000 needed for the expansion.

The two clubs already plan to kick another $25,000 each through their own fund-raisers.

Valentine-Eleebana Netball Club president Derek van Braam said ground work on the project could start as early as next year, despite not yet being fully funded.

Volunteers from the clubs want to use the grant money to lay a concrete slab, with the rest of the project to start later.

When The Star contacted the Lake Macquarie City Council, a spokesperson said it would not match the grant. The spokesperson said the council was not obligated to match the state funding.

Other clubs' facilities across Lake Macquarie were deemed to be of a higher priority.

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