Weston Bears are poised to become the first football club in the region to play their home matches on synthetic turf.
It is part of the Weston Bears Park Draft Masterplan that went on public exhibition this week, with residents able to give feedback until June 22.
Key highlights of the masterplan include:
- Replacement of the main turf football field with a synthetic surface;
- Expansion of the existing training field to the east of the site to a full sized football field;
- New amenities building to cater for junior and senior football;
- Additional spectator seating;
- New storage facility;
- Floodlighting upgrades;
- New sealed car park.
Weston Bears president Rod Henderson was excited about the pending upgrade which was developed by Cessnock Council in consultation with the club.
"I think the most pleasing thing for us is that if it gets final approval, it will be a facility that the whole Cessnock, Weston and Kurri communities can utilise," Mr Henderson said..
"The all weather playing surface means we can open up the ground to other sports and teams. Our current playing surface, while good, has required a lot of maintenance which has meant we've had to be selective about when we use it.
"And it's the same with the new grandstand. It will be more than a change room and canteen, it will have a meeting room and function area - again, it's something that others can use. It will be a great facility for this area, which is growing and has a lot of junior teams."
The plan means that the old grandstand will be demolished.
Cessnock Mayor Bob Pynsent described it as "a great plan" and thanked representatives from Weston Bears, Weston Junior Football Club and Weston Workers Club who provided feedback.
"Our parks are some of our most precious community spaces and we need to ensure we've got a plan to continually improve and upgrade these facilities, particularly as our population grows and more people enjoy these spaces," Cr Pynsent said.
If adopted the works will be completed in stages, as funding becomes available.