The new facility at the Hangar incorporates four unisex change rooms, a function centre and community education hub.
The high-performance centre is used as a training base by Essendon’s VFLW team, and the expansion and upgrade of the facilities brings it up to standard for the Bombers to base their AFLW team there when it enters the competition for the 2022/23 season.
Essendon Football Club President Paul Brasher said we’re very grateful for the government’s support in expanding and upgrading our facilities at The Hangar – it’s now a world class training and administration centre and a fantastic community asset.
The community and education facilities will be used for a range of purposes, from training female umpires to encouraging women and girls at all levels, and from all backgrounds, to participate on and off the field.
The new facilities will also benefit Paralympics Australia, which is based at the Hangar, along with Western United Football Club which is using the centre as a training and administration base for the next two years.
The Victorian Government’s $6.3 million investment is the latest in a series of initiatives to help level the playing field at the elite and community levels, including a $20 million investment at Ikon Park that has enabled Carlton’s AFLW team to enjoy the same standard of facilities as the club’s men.
Other investments include $13 million for major works at St Kilda’s Moorabbin Oval, $5 million to upgrade Melbourne’s Casey Fields and $2 million to remake the change rooms at Victoria Park, a home ground for Collingwood’s AFLW team.
The Government has also announced $15.5 million for Richmond’s Punt Road Oval and $7.3 million for North Melbourne’s Arden Street.
Whitten Oval will be remade with a 1,500-capacity grandstand as part of a $36.6 million investment by the Government to complete the transformation of the ground, which followed a $5 million grant to create match-day and training facilities for the Western Bulldogs’ AFLW team.