Harness racing fans get shelter at Maitland Showground

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Harness racing lovers in Maitland will soon be able to sit in the shade to watch competitors go around the city’s paceway.

The state government has given Maitland Harness Racing Club a grant worth $14,500 to build a roof over three small track-side grandstands at Maitland Showground.

Harness racing driver Robert Smith, Maitland Harness Racing Club president Peter Allen and secretary Wayne Smith with Liberal candidate for Maitland Steve Thomson.

Maitland MP Robyn Parker and Liberal candidate for Maitland Steve Thomson announced the funding on Tuesday.

Harness racing club president Peter Allen said the club would also contribute about $5000 to the project.

He said the plans for the shelter had been drawn and the club would lodge a development application with Maitland City Council as soon as possible.

“Anyone who wants to come and watch events in the centre ring, they’ll be able to get out of the sun,” Mr Allen said.

“The complaint we get most from the harness racing people is that they have nowhere to get out of the sun or the rain.

“This funding is going to be such a boost for our sport.”

Mr Thomson said the new facilities would be a positive addition to the showground for the harness racing club and other users of the site.

“If you have the facilities to sit in the shade, they are there for the trots, they are there for everything else, it’s fantastic,” he said.

Ms Parker said the club missed out on a previous round of Community Building Partnership funding, so she approached Premier Mike Baird and asked if the government could help the harness racing club.

“We felt it was a really good project that needed support, not only for harness racing but for multi purpose use for the rest of the community,” she said.

“It’s a delight, on behalf of the NSW government, to support harness racing in this way and provide an all-weather environment.”

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