Green light for $39.25m Surf Coast Aquatic and Health Centre

pool new

Surf Coast Shire Council will increase its funding commitment to enable establishment of the $39.25 million Surf Coast Aquatic and Health Centre in Torquay.

Council resolved at its meeting tonight to bridge the final funding gap with $500,000 in extra borrowings on top of its February 2021 commitment of $5.25 million.

Council’s decision gives a green light for the project to be delivered at full scope, providing a community health, fitness and wellbeing centre with an indoor 50-metre heated pool, multipurpose warm water pool, gym and multi-purpose program rooms as well as allied health suites and community meeting spaces.

“I am proud that we have made this historic decision and excited by what the aquatic and health centre will bring to our community,” Mayor Libby Stapleton said.

“In making their decision councillors acknowledged that funding commitments already in place from the Australian and Victorian governments presented an opportunity too good to be missed.

“Council had already resolved on the site, the scope and made a significant commitment of land, cash and borrowings. This decision to provide the last piece of the funding puzzle enables this wonderful project to go ahead for the benefit of people of all ages and abilities across generations.

“We considered our options to seek further external funding but are realistic that our funding partners have already been generous and that further grants are unlikely, and further delays are unhelpful for everyone.”

The extra $500,000 commitment will lift Council’s total available borrowings for the project to $4.75 million and add $27,000 in estimated annual debt servicing costs.

The Australian Government has committed $20m to the project and the Victorian Government a total of $13.5m, including the recently announced $3.5m grant from its Growing Suburbs Fund.

Council acknowledges these significant government contributions.

The new centre will be integrated with the recently-completed $13.5 million Wurdi Baierr Stadium and will be Council’s biggest-ever project.

Planning and building is estimated to take three years.