LAST week I was delighted to be a part of the celebrations to reopen the Lambton Colliery Precinct at Redhead.
As the Hunter Region's only remaining 19th century colliery buildings, the Lambton Colliery "B" Pit Buildings hold significant heritage value.
It is wonderful to see them come to life again as the home for Redhead Men's Shed.
Dedication and hard work by local community group the Friends of Lambton Colliery, as well as the development of a conservation management plan and masterplan of the precinct in 2008, ensured that the history and heritage values of the site would be maintained, and cultural significance of the structures recognised.
Over the last few years, the council and the state government have spent about $470,000 to restore the colliery for re-use.
The importance of having facilities available for our community to use cannot be overstated.
In this particular instance, the Redhead Men's Shed now has a place to create a space of belonging for local men, as well as run a mentoring program for young people from schools in the area.
The health and social benefit to young people and older men will be significant.
On another note, I am looking forward to being part of another community celebration this Sunday to mark the 50th birthday of Speers Point Swim Centre. Go to lakemac.com.au for details.