Designed to respond to the emerging needs of residents in Cockatoo, Emerald, Gembrook and surrounding townships, the Hills Hub project delivers a beautiful, accessible and integrated space.
The official opening of this fantastic new facility was held today (Monday December 14) and attended by representatives from each of the funding bodies and the Hills Hub Advisory Group.
The official opening was held in accordance with Victorian Government COVID-19 restrictions and the Hills Hub COVIDSafe procedures and protocols, and a community celebration will be planned for the wider community with an open day when restrictions permit and it is safe to do so.
Cardinia Shire Council Mayor Councillor Brett Owen said the Hills Hub brings together U3A Emerald, the Emerald Men’s Shed, Hills She Shed, Puffing Billy Toy Library, Emerald Village Association and many other wonderful community groups and not-for-profit organisations, under one roof, to improve access to a range of activities and services, increase social participation and strengthen community connections.
“The facility also provides local businesses and training organisations with the opportunity to hire meeting, consulting and training rooms to support home and small businesses and enhance local training opportunities and pathways to employment.
“The arts and performance space will accommodate an annual program of arts initiatives, activities and events, supporting existing and emerging artists and increasing local participation in and appreciation for local arts projects.
“It is further envisaged that increased use of the precinct will benefit local cafes, shops and other businesses,” Cr Owen said.
Cardinia Shire Deputy Mayor, Councillor Jeff Springfield said following detailed planning and working closely with our community, it is wonderful to celebrate the opening of the Hills Hub.
“This beautiful, accessible and integrated facility will support a range of volunteer, community and local business initiatives and bring together several community groups and programs under one roof.
“My sincere thanks goes to all members of the advisory group, the wider community and my councillor colleagues who have worked diligently to provide input on the design elements and key functions of this wonderful facility. The close partnership between Council, the community and key stakeholders has delivered an integrated and accessible community space where people of all ages and abilities can gather to learn, celebrate and connect.
“I would also like to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of the Emerald Mechanic’s Institute over many years in managing the old hall for the benefit of the community. The Hills Hub will build on this legacy to ensure that residents of Cockatoo, Emerald, Gembrook and surrounding townships have access to a versatile and vibrant community gathering space for a range of events and activities.
“Cardinia Shire Council has not just invested significantly in the building of this Community Hub, it has also committed to its activation through the appointment of a full-time Place Maker, who will work closely with local community organisations such as Emerald University of the Third Age (U3A) and the Emerald Men’s Shed to provide a range of activities and services to enhance community connections and promote health and wellbeing,” Cr Springfield said.
The Hills Hub was funded through:
- Cardinia Shire $6.024 million
- Australian Government National Stronger Regions Fund $1.5 million
- Victorian Government Growing Suburbs Fund $1.5 million
- Dandenong Ranges Community Bank Group – Community Enterprise Foundation in partnership with the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Project Group $250,000
Hills Hub User Groups are looking forward to setting up and resuming service delivery over the summer months. Returning groups include: