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Merrigum hub idea to be studied

Greater Shepparton City Council will investigate the possibility of setting up a commercial hub in Merrigum.

February 13, 2014 4:22am

Member for Rodney Paul Weller visited Merrigum Friday morning for a funding announcement regarding the Merrigum Hub Commercial Enterprise, and was joined by members of Merrigum Community Group and Greater Shepparton City Council representatives Anna Feildman and Kim Mansell.

Mr Weller said Greater Shepparton City Council would use funding from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1billion Regional Growth Fund to investigate the possibility of setting up a commercial hub in Merrigum.

In announcing the $5200 grant, Mr Weller said the feasibility study would explore the economic benefits of combining local businesses in Merrigum.

‘‘The study will investigate the possibility of establishing a central commercial hub that would provide local residents and tourists with access to fuel, a post office, banking facilities, hospitality businesses and a newsagency,’’ he told the Guardian.

‘‘The final report will also identify whether community services such as health professionals and a shared multi-use community space which could be accessed by the broader community could be included.’’

Mr Weller said a commercial hub would enhance community support for existing businesses and help local businesses find alternative and new growth opportunities.

‘‘Bringing local businesses into one place would allow networking and mentoring as well as opportunities to celebrate new economic success and foster a culture of tourism friendliness within the community,’’ he said.

‘‘Overall, the project will investigate options that stimulate economic and commercial diversity, which will improve the resilience and long-term sustainability of Merrigum and its residents.’’

Merrigum Community Group president Ken Phillips thanked Mr Weller for the funding announcement and Greater Shepparton City Council for its ongoing support of the project.

‘‘The group and community in general hopes this (commercial hub) comes to fruition,’’ he said.

Commercial Hub sub-committee spokesperson Roger Driscoll also thanked Mr Weller.

Regional and Rural Development Minister Peter Ryan said supporting initiatives such as the Merrigum Hub Commercial Enterprise Feasibility project was the objective of the government’s $1billion Regional Growth Fund.

‘‘The Victorian Government uses the Regional Growth Fund to invest in community-led projects such as this to strategically drive jobs, investment and innovation in rural and regional Victoria,’’ he said.

For more information about the Regional Growth Fund visit www.rdv.vic.gov.au/regional-growth-fund

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