NSW Nationals Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has turned the sod on the construction of the new grandstand at Grenfell’s Henry Lawson Oval, signalling the official start of the build.

The $820,000 was secured for the Weddin Shire through round two of the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund.

Ms Cooke joined Mayor of Weddin Shire Mark Liebich, as well as a number of representatives from Grenfell’s league community to mark the occasion.

“This is an incredibly exciting day for Grenfell as we move one step closer to being able to enjoy the upgraded facilities here at Henry Lawson Oval,” Ms Cooke said.

“The previous grandstand was completely inadequate, with the community unable to use the facility due to safety concerns. With the community hit hard by drought, this brand new facility will help lift the morale of the community, especially those people who love sport. They will be able to watch, train and play at a venue that they’re proud of.

“As Grenfell’s premier rugby league venue, it’s only fitting Henry Lawson Oval is equipped with a high-quality, multi-purpose amenities building complete with official’s facilities.

“Not only will this benefit the players and officials, but spectators will also be able to enjoy the upgrade year-round by watching the rugby league, soccer, touch and athletics from the safety of undercover seating. This will make for a more pleasant experience – particularly during the summer and winter months.”

The funding provides a welcomed boost for the community and will allow more people to enjoy sports in the region.

By constructing a new facility that offers wheelchair access, more people will be able to enjoy watching sport here at Henry Lawson Oval, which will add to the atmosphere. People will be seated directly in front of the action in the three-tiered stand.