Upper Hunter’s first undercover multi-purpose arena celebrates another milestone

THE concrete pour for the floor and seating in the White Park Arena has begun, with another milestone in creating the Upper Hunter’s first undercover multi-purpose arena.

More than 600 cubic metres of concrete (or about 120 concrete trucks) will be poured over the next 12 weeks providing a large ramp entry to the space, a ring path around the performance area and detailed terrace work to create 1000 linear metres of concrete seating.

This is in addition to the 26 concrete building footings, each 900 millimetres in diameter and 3500 millimetres deep, already in place and holding up the 90m by 60m arena roof.

“The White Park committee has put a lot of effort into making sure each equine discipline have had a say in the design on the outdoor enclosed venue,” Chair of the White Park Committee Cr Lee Watts said.

“It’s such an exciting time to watch the development being built and know the facility will attract not only local people but also visitors to enjoy the many equine, recreational and any activities that the venue can be used for.

“I look forward to the success of future funding to continue the stages and the overall completion of the venue that the Upper Hunter Shire has been working on for a considerable amount of time.”

The White Park Recreation and Equine Facility Development Stage 1 has been largely funded by the NSW Government through a $1.47 million contribution from the Restart NSW Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund, with a further $500,000 provided by Upper Hunter Shire Council.

Once complete, the venue will seat an audience of thousands for equine events, other sports, potentially music concerts, education and recreation programs.

Additional seating for the grandstand has also been funded by the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund with $139,280 in funding towards project costs.

Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen congratulated the council on the work undertaken so far.

“I was involved in the early stages of this project when I was the Upper Hunter Shire mayor, so I’m delighted to see it taking shape for our local community,” he said.

“It’s a project that is going to benefit the whole region through the ability to attract major equine and other community events that will increase visitation and boost our local businesses.”

Planning, including funding proposals, is underway for Stage 2 of the White Park project which includes completing the arena seating, toilets, upgraded power supply, water and sewerage for the whole park, new stables and horse boxes, roadways, camping amenities, bar, canteen, landscaping and a causeway or bridge over Fig Tree Gully.

The White Park Arena will provide the Upper Hunter’s first all-weather outdoor sports facility and increase its use for a range of events and activities.