FOR years, the Bathurst Stamp, Coin, Collectables and Lapidary Club has been craving more space to cater to the club's activities.
Finally, it has happened.
On Wednesday, Member for Bathurst Paul Toole was invited to the club's shed to officially open the extension to the premises.
The extension was made possible thanks to a grant of $67,000 from the NSW Government's Stronger Country Communities Fund.
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"We're over the moon, really," he said.
Construction began in October, with the club working around it as best they could, and the extension is now able to be used.
The extra space is making a big difference for the club.
"In the case of COVID, it means we can spread out more," Mr Martensz said.
"In the case of more machines - we've got new machines arriving, coming in quicker than we thought - more people can work at one time.
"We've also expanded the sorts of things we can do, and as a result of that hopefully we will be able to expand the workshops for these different sorts of things, not only cutting and polishing, but also setting the stones."
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It is also hoped the children's workshops will be able to be expanded over the school holidays.
Mr Martensz said there is significantly more space now, allowing for the separation of activities.
"It's not quite double the size, but it's allowed us to plan activities in the space we've got now," he said.
"The far end is more quiet activities, things that don't require machines, and things requiring machines are [up the front].
"... We've got different areas for different things, which makes for a much easier operation."
In addition to the space, the grant funding has allowed the club to install airconditioning, which was sorely needed.
Mr Martensz said members were extremely grateful for the support of Mr Toole, Bathurst Regional Council and the NSW Government.
Mr Toole was pleased to be able to help the club achieve its dream of more space, appreciating members' contributions to the community.
"The expansion for the club is now complete and will allow the club's members to deliver the popular lapidary workshops and various special events to more people because previously they were severely hampered by the limited space to work in," he said.
"This funding has resulted in a totally new fit out of the interior with storage space, including work benches and the extra machines needed for everyone who visits the club."