North Melbourne Community Centre gets budget funding

David Schout

Redevelopment of the North Melbourne Community Centre has been given a kick along with $500,000 allocated in the City of Melbourne’s recent budget for plans and design work within the next year.

An overhaul of the 1960s-built centre has been slated for some time, and the City of Melbourne is now moving forward with plans.

“The North Melbourne Community Centre (NMCC) precinct will be redeveloped to support the future needs of a growing community,” a City of Melbourne spokesperson said after the council’s latest draft budget was released in May.

“[An amount of] $500,000 is allocated in the City of Melbourne draft 2021-22 budget for preparation of a business case including concept plans and some early design work.”

Forward estimates in the latest budget reveal bigger spending on the project will happen in years to come.

In the 2023-24 financial year, the council is set to spend $5 million on the redevelopment, while the following 12 months (2024-25) would see $10 million put aside.

Prior to that, however, extensive consultation would take place.

“Community and stakeholder consultation will be undertaken in relation to the design, facilities and location of the new precinct before any works commence,” the council spokesperson said.

“The redevelopment is in its early stages and construction schedules are yet to be determined.”

The NMCC, located on Buncle St, is owned by the City of Melbourne and managed by YMCA Victoria.

The centre has a number of different facilities, including a gym, stadium, outdoor soccer pitch, games room and community hall.

Among a range of programs, it hosts “Y-Streetball” — a drop-in basketball game for those experiencing homelessness and disadvantage.

As well as being a key leisure and community site within North Melbourne, the centre acted as a logistical centre point to assist residents in nearby public housing flats during Melbourne’s hard lockdown last year •

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