Walcha Showground will improve safety through a $75,000 grant to upgrade the grandstand seating with higher sides and backs and by replacing four aged cattle sheds.
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson was on hand to make the announcement and said the funding would support the hard work of local groups.
“The community volunteers like those in the Walcha Show Society are the glue in which civic pride is portrayed,” Mr Anderson said.
“Walcha held its first show in its own right in 1878 and this country show has been a window to the area’s agricultural pursuits as well as a vehicle for local equine enthusiasts and exhibitors in the pavilions. I’m delighted to be able catch up with members of the Show Society to hand over this grant for these important upgrades.”
Walcha Showground Trust president Tim Norton said the cattle yard roofs were dangerously low and the structural timber posts were sinking into the ground which made things worse.
“The Lands Department did a random audit of ten showgrounds just to see what state they were in and they picked this ground,” he said. “We got a pretty good report card but they said the grandstand backs were a bit low and kids could fall off them.”
Mr Norton said local contractors will be used for all the renovations.
The annual Walcha Show is the highlight of the community's social calendarKevin Anderson
“The ongoing additions and improvements has created the lovely, compact showground we now have. Walcha Showground is one of the most used grounds in the area,” Mr Anderson said.
“The annual Walcha Show is the highlight of the community’s social calendar and is considered by many to be the best country show around.”
He said the funding for the improvements was through Crown Reserves Improvement Fund program and this program was focused on ensuring communities and visitors could continue to enjoy local land and facilities.
CRIF supports Crown reserve managers by providing funding for repairs and maintenance projects, pest and weed control, new recreational infrastructure and environmental initiatives.
Work on the yards and seating at Walcha Showground is expected to be finished by early next year.