WHILE recent wet weather has delayed works at the Sportsground, Bathurst Regional Council is hopeful that the historic venue will be ready for use in the summer.
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A majority of works have already been completed - including the installation of stormwater drainage and irrigation, concrete slab works in front of the amenities building, cricket wicket construction, the reinstatement of the picket fence and installation of the goal post - but there's still some time before the venue will be ready for use.
The cricket site screen still needs to be installed, as well as the sand slit drainage, which can't be completed until the full turf establishment.
Bathurst mayor Robert Taylor said the ground is unlikely to be ready for use until early 2023.
"The ground is expected to be ready for use in early 2023, but this depends on how long it takes for the turf to fully establish which allows the sand slit drainage works to be undertaken," he said.
"Wet weather has been an ongoing source of delays since construction commenced in September 2021."
Once the upgrades are completed, council is not ruling out the possibility of attracting Big Bash League matches for Bathurst.
"The upgrade works to the playing surface of the Bathurst Sportsground and further works such as field lighting upgrades will provide the required level of facilities at the Bathurst Sportsground to host high level sporting events including possible Big Bash and other Twenty20 events," Cr Taylor.
"It is council's intention to continue to provide national and regional sporting facilities that promote sports tourism for Bathurst."
The current $1.5 million project at the Sportsground has been funded by council, with the assistance of the NSW Government, the Twenty20 World Cup 2020 Cricket Legacy Fund and the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund.
Upgrade to the Sportsground lights are not included in the upgrade, however, council is committed to improving them in the future.
"The upgrade to the Bathurst Sportsground field lights is a future project that council and sporting user groups have identified as a priority, to be undertaken as funding becomes available," Cr Taylor said.
"The upgrade of the field lighting would enable multiple user groups the ability to undertake evening and night training activities under compliant light levels, as well as providing opportunities in respect to being able to play night competition matches at the Bathurst Sportsground in the future."
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