The Bannockburn Heart is Officially Open
The sun – and the brand new play space – were shining when Stage One of the Bannockburn Heart was officially opened by the Mayor Cr Owen Sharkey, the Hon Senator Sarah Henderson, and Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Regional Victoria Danielle Green MP at 3pm, Thursday 19 December, 2019.
Golden Plains Shire residents have been eagerly counting down the days until the fence around the site was removed today, ready to enjoy all the fun of the new community facility this summer. The official opening is followed by the popular annual Golden Plains Twilight Market on the neighbouring site in the evening.
Stage One of the Bannockburn Heart Precinct at the corner of Milton and Byron Streets includes an impressive new water and adventure play space, active recreation equipment; and community facilities including public toilets, seating, BBQs, shade, lighting and landscaped community space.
The Heart is home to the Shire’s first water play space with splash pads for toddlers and older children, which will operate from morning to evening, seven days a week. The Heart will have accessible play elements and DDA compliant toilets, making it a regional destination for people with disabilities and their families. Constructed over two stages, the Heart Precinct will transform and activate the Bannockburn CBD, improving liveability, retail spending, and amenity.
Stage One of the Heart project has also delivered an upgraded site for the Golden Plains Farmers’ Market, a new shed for the Bannockburn Scouts, a new car park, the relocation of the Bannockburn Playgroup, and the upgrade of power and fire services at the site. Construction of Stage One of the Bannockburn Heart began on 12 April, 2019 and the goal of completing the project for the Golden Plains community to enjoy in the summer school holidays was achieved.
The $3 million Stage One project was jointly funded by $1.2 million from the Australian Government through the National Stronger Regions Fund, $1,233,500 from Council; and $566,500 in grants from the State Government with $500,000 from Regional Development Victoria’s Rural Infrastructure Fund and $66,500 from Sport and Recreation Victoria’s Community Sports Infrastructure Fund - Minor Facilities Program. In addition, Barwon Water supplied the precinct with drinking water fountains, and the Bannockburn and District Lions Club helped fund the BBQ. Council continues to seek government support to build Stage 2 of the Precinct featuring a village green and performance stage.
“Today was a very exciting day for the Bannockburn and Golden Plains community. Over the past eight months, we know many residents have been counting down the days until we could pull down the fence and officially open Stage One of the Bannockburn Heart," said Mayor Cr Owen Sharkey.
“The Bannockburn Heart features play equipment for toddlers and children, as well as the ninja-style play area for teens, and there are accessible play elements including a flying fox designed for people of all abilities. Of course, the Heart is home to the Shire’s first water play space featuring a splash pad for toddlers and one for bigger kids, which will be open from 9am to 9pm, every day this summer.
“The Bannockburn Heart is sure to be a popular destination for Golden Plains’ families this summer holidays. In a great location in downtown Bannockburn and next to the library, there are BBQs and toilets on-site, so a visit to the Heart is a fun, free day out for the whole family.
“The idea for a civic and community space in the centre of Bannockburn was born in 2013. Over the past six years, many local residents, community groups, and Councillors and staff have developed this great idea to the impressive play space we have today.
“Council lobbied for many years to build Stage One of the Heart and we thank the Australian and Victorian Governments for their investment, making this a very successful joint project for the people of Golden Plains Shire. Our thanks and appreciation go out to all who made Stage One of the Bannockburn Heart a reality.”