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Christmas has come early for some parks across Hamilton Kirikiriroa this week, with the Lottery Grants Board awarding a combined $1 million towards two Hamilton City Council projects next year.

$500,000 will be invested in floodlighting for 21 sport fields across six parks, while the other $500,000 will help the Magical Bridge Trust build New Zealand's first fully accessible playground in Claudelands. 

Council’s floodlighting project will make sure training facilities at Korikori Park, Gower Park and Porritt Stadium are well-lit and up to scratch for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.   

Galloway Park, Ashurst Park and Flynn Park will also benefit from improved lighting.  

Mayor Paula Southgate said having more well-lit sports fields will be game-changing for Hamiltonians. 

"The current lack of lighting means our residents and sports clubs can’t use the fields in winter during the week” she said.

“This will be so good for encouraging local sport – something that helps our communities build connections and shape healthy, active lifestyles. It helps keep us fit and healthy and brings us together.”

This project is a key priority for Council’s newly formed City Investment Programme, which aims to unlock Hamilton’s potential as a connected, vibrant, attractive and prosperous city.  

“Along with increasing sport participation, the improvements will also help attract world-class events to our city,” said Mayor Southgate.  

Over the last 18 months, Council has secured a total of $2.3m through our key partners and investors to support the floodlighting project. Other funding partners include Trust Waikato (our founding project partner), WEL Energy Trust, and the Ministry of Business and Innovation. 

Key supporters include Melville United, the Claudelands Rovers, Northern United, Hamilton Wanderers, WaiBOP Football and Sport Waikato. 


Magical Bridge Playground funding  

Led by Council’s community partner, the Magical Bridge Trust, the playground will be New Zealand’s first purposefully designed, fully accessible and inclusive playground. 

It will be a safe place to play for people of all physical capabilities and meet the needs of people with intellectual disabilities including those with autism, and sensory, visual and hearing impairments. 

Magical Bridge Trust co-founder and board chair Peter van Vroonhoven said the $500,000 will mean the first stage of the project is now fully funded.  

“This great contribution from the Lottery Grants Board gives us the certainty that we will definitely have a playground being built in 2023, which is awesome! We’re working to secure funding for the final stage and the additions of accessible changing rooms, toilets, and car parking.” 

Council is contributing $1.4 million towards the project from its existing renewal budget for the current playground. The final estimated $2 million is to come from fundraising, grants and commercial partners.


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