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Construction of a community hub at Trentham will start next year, with Hepburn Shire Council last night awarding a contract to Ballarat-based builder S J Weir.

The Trentham Community Hub will incorporate a community library, Council customer service centre, visitor information services, large community hall, commercial-style kitchen, playgroup area, on-site parking and landscaped surrounds.

“This hub is a key project for Council, and will help realise a contemporary space for Trentham and surrounding communities,” said Mayor, Cr Tim Drylie.

“Feedback from the community has shaped the design, which means we will have an incredible facility that will be enjoyed by generations to come,” said Cr Drylie.

The hub project was identified in the Trentham Community Facilities Review conducted in 2013. The project has gained traction since 2019 and undergone a rigorous process of community consultation and review.

“Thank you to members of the Project Advisory Group who worked together to develop a design that met the needs and expectations of the community,” said Cr Drylie.

“We are very grateful to the Victorian Government, who has committed $3.5 million funding towards the project through the Regional Infrastructure Fund,” he said.

Cr Drylie said the tender had come in higher than initial estimates due to the high volume of work available in the building and construction industry, along with the increasing price of materials.

“We recognise these pressures have impacted the cost of this project, but Council also knows that there has been a thorough process to get to this point in delivering a facility that meets the community’s needs and expectations,” said Cr Drylie.

‘We have also applied for a significant grant through Living Libraries Victoria, the result of which will be announced early next year. We are hopeful of securing a positive response from this application with a decision due in the next few months,” he said.

The hub is designed to meet requirements for a 5 Star Green Star performance rating, meaning it will be at a level of ‘Australian excellence’ in relation to environmental design elements.

Also incorporated into the design is a generator that will provide electricity during power outages due to storms, floods, bushfires or other events. This important feature will provide a high level of service to affected community members and aid recovery efforts during any future emergencies.