DEVELOPMENT of a major regional soccer centre in Lake Macquarie has been given the green light.
Last week, the state government signed a 40-year lease on Crown land at Speers Point Park to start work on the Speers Point Park Regional Football Facility.
In a partnership with Northern NSW Football, the state government will provide $7.3 million towards the facility's development through the Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund.
Northern NSW Football has allocated $4 million to construction, bringing the project's total to $11.3 million.
The facility will include 10 five-a-side synthetic football courts, two international-size football fields, an administration building and a 120-space car park.
Northern NSW Football aims to have construction completed by mid-November before Lake Macquarie council hosts the 2014 International Children's Games in December.
Lake Macquarie state MP Greg Piper said he believed the new sporting complex would attract football players from across the state and help build the sport's profile.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Infrastructure and Services Andrew Stoner said the entire Hunter region would benefit from the facility.
"Football is the fastest-growing sport in Australia, so to have this here is really a feather in the cap for the Hunter," Mr Stoner said.