The project will see the redevelopment of the current Mechanics Institute Hall at 76 Elizabeth Street, Edenhope into a new multi-user community hub.
The new centre will have the ability to cater for a library, tourism promotion area and civic functions. It will include community function space, meetings rooms and facilities for outreach and visiting services organisations.
The community of Edenhope are behind the project and a range of organisations have lent their support in terms of financial, in-kind, usage and advocacy.
West Wimmera Shire own the parcel of land that will be used for the Hub so all funding and investment will be for construction purposes.
The build cost is approximately $1.8-2.0 m which will comprise the following confirmed and potential contributions:
- West Wimmera Shire Council - up to $500,000 - confirmed (to be matched by the community)
- Community of Edenhope - up to $500,000 – fundraising commenced
- State Government - up to $500,000 - to be applied for
- Drought Communities Program - $700,000 - confirmed
- Other sources – Edenhope and District Community Bank Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital, Wimmera Regional Library Corporation and various private partners.
The primary drivers of this important project include:
- The age and condition of existing facilities and the cost of multiple upkeep, maintenance and management by a range of organisations
- Lack of appropriate community facilities to support community participation, wellbeing and access to services and support
- Provision of additional health and community services for an ageing population
- Lack of promotional/ tourism space to support destination marketing and dispersal
- Lack of facilities to encourage business growth, innovation and entrepreneurialism such as access to technology
- Provide facilities and activities for community members many of whom are elderly and live in single households (50% of total household). 2011 Census shows that 35% of the population are aged over 65 years
- West Wimmera has one of the lowest population growth forecasts for the whole of Victoria with the population expected to decline by 700 residents or a decline of 16.3% 2011-31. Therefore investment in critical community infrastructure would contribute to population attraction and retention and may act as a catalyst for private and other investment.
- 2011 State Government analysis of SEIFA data shows a comparison for the following areas of disadvantage for residents of Edenhope. Edenhope is listed as the 14th most disadvantaged community in the Grampians (out of 56 localities).
Table 1 – Comparison of disadvantage % of population (SEIFA)
Aged over 65 years
Over 75 years of age living alone
People with a disability
Households with no internet
West Wimmera Shire Council and the community of Edenhope would welcome the opportunity to discuss this important project with interested parties and potential funding partners.
Mr Mark Fletcher
Phone: 0437 816 505