Supporters of the Old Bega Hospital have plenty to celebrate, with $3million being granted by the NSW government to restore the building.
But on Monday, member of the Old Bega Hospital Land Manager board Richard Bomford said the money was almost in the bank.
“It feels very good,” he said with a smile.
“It’s been a very long road and it’s really lovely to get to this end of it. A huge thanks to everyone involved, which is a great number of people.”
Mr Bomford said they aimed to provide the old hospital with a roof, doors, windows, floors, disabled access, toilets, electricity and plumbing to make the building a functional space for the community.
The plan advocates had for the $3million was what they termed the “bare bones restoration”, he said, and what they could get for the money would also depend on what the builders agreed to.
The money will come from the Regional Community Development Fund, which according to its website “provides an opportunity for projects that are highly valuable to their communities, but may not have a benefit-to-cost ratio above one, to be considered for funding”.
Member for Bega Andrew Constance, who announced the funding on Friday, said the trust needed to finalise costings and have a detailed plan – which they largely had and were not too far off having a DA ready. He said the money was not tied to the election’s outcome and was confident construction would begin this year.
“A raft of community organisations across the Bega Valley will be able to call the community hub their home,” he said.
Recently, Labor’s candidate for Bega Leanne Atkinson announced if she and her party won government at the state election they would supply half a million dollars to rebuild the roof, but in response Mr Constance said the trust already had the funds for the project.
This statement had been denied by Mr Bomford, who said they had an expired offer of funding from the government subject to conditions they had not been able to meet, and for about 16 months had not been told whether or not the money was still available.