The Canberra Raiders have revealed what the proposed "Centre of Excellence" at the club's spiritual home of Northbourne Oval will look like in a development application lodged with the ACT government.
The club wants the site in Braddon, bordered by Torrens, Elouera and Donaldson Streets, to be the rugby league club's main training venue, with the new facilities needed for the club to keep up with their competitors in the NRL.
The application includes details the club wants to demolish a one-storey toilet block on the west of the oval, and replace it with a two-storey building that would include indoor training facilities, locker rooms and other player facilities and staff meeting rooms.
"The use of the existing oval, for organised games and training, is to be supported by the proposed meeting rooms for the trainers and administration staff involved in the maintenance of the oval and promoting games on this oval, including media, sponsorship, training, coaching and physiotherapy to support the players," the application from Canberra Town Planning said.
The application doesn't involve changing Northbourne Oval itself, which is heritage protected.
Lodging the development application is the result of years of work, after the club announced the plan in 2015. The club has also held public consultations this year through newspaper advertisements, information flyers for neighbours and a community information session at the Ainslie Art Centre in March. The application said there was general support for the proposal.
The cost of the development is expected to be about $15 million, half of which will be covered by the Raiders Group. The club is seeking further funding from the ACT and NSW governments to cover the whole project.
"The DA was lodged a couple of weeks ago. We've already had some community consultation on it and we're still hopeful of receiving some joint funding from the NSW and ACT governments, but that's a process that's got to play out," club chief executive Don Furner said.
"We desperately need it, we need to keep track with everybody else and we'd love it to go ahead. But it all hinges on successful applications with governments and obviously getting the [development application] through is another hurdle.
"We're hopeful of being successful with our applications for funding and part of that application process is showing that we are the land owners of the area, or have got a valid lease. We've got to show that we've got a DA approved, or at least lodged one, so that they're confident that we can deliver the project."
The move would return the club to the venue where rugby league has been played since 1927.
"The reason we want it [the Centre of Excellence] is to make sure we're not losing pace with some of the other clubs and that this will be something to attract players to come here. We're not going too bad on that, but it will be yet another plus to come and play with the Raiders," Raiders chairman Allan Hawke said.
The development application does not replace the application in September last year to develop the southern-most corner of the site with apartments and shops. That application, which included 92 apartments, 48 units and 603 square metres of commercial space is still under consideration and would sit beside the training facilities.
A previous application for 156 apartments, worth $80 million, was scrapped in September 2016.
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