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Parramatta Eels secure funding for major community facility

Australian NRL rugby league club the Parramatta Eels is set for another major new facility after it secured an Aus$15m (£8.1m/€9.3m/$10.4m) funding commitment from the federal government for a new community complex.

The proposed Aus$40m complex will be located in north-west Sydney and will feature a minimum of four international rugby league fields, an elite-standard match venue and a 5,000-square-metre community facility that will also house a high-performance centre for the club. According to the Eels, the complex will be the largest community rugby league facility in Australia.

The Eels, together with the Hills Shire Council, are currently finalising designs and a proposal for the first stage of the project, which will see the club transfer its elite programs and the club’s administration to a new modular training facility.

The second stage will centre on the completion of an elite-match venue to host the Eels’ junior representative games and elite women’s fixtures. The venue will also feature a 1,000-seat grandstand.

The third and final stage will see the construction of the community and high-performance centre, which will house training facilities for the Eels’ various teams. State-of-the-art facilities will also be provided for the Eels’ disability, wheelchair and Try Time Rugby League programs.

Eels chief executive Bernie Gurr said: “Today’s announcement is a landmark day for our club. This project will provide a world-class sporting facility that will enable our NRL team and youth academy programs to be housed in one state-of-the-art venue and enhance our capacity to give back to the community.

“Through our discussions with the Hills Shire Council it quickly became clear that we had an opportunity to build something really special, a place that could cater to the changing needs of one of the fast-growing regions in Australia and increase participation in rugby league and touch football from grassroots all the way up to NRL and NRLW level.”

The Eels last month moved into the new 30,000-seat Bankwest Stadium, which it will share with A-League football club Western Sydney Wanderers. The Eels christened the stadium in style with an impressive 51-6 victory over Wests Tigers.

Image: Parramatta Eels