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$111,000 of state government funds for Freemans Reach School of Arts

Feb 10, 2022

Since it opened way back in 1910, Freemans Reach School of Arts has been hired by families holding parties for WW1 and WW2 soldiers who were farewelled before going to war, plus weddings, christenings, birthday parties, church bazaars, and presentation nights.


Glenda Chapman (left), who applied for the state government grant for Freemans Reach School of Arts, with Hawkesbury MP Robyn Preston


And now the NSW government is recognising its importance to the community by handing over $110,681 to improve the Hall, as part of funding for Hawkesbury Crown land reserves and community facilities.


Hawkesbury MP Robyn Preston said on Wednesday the funding was being provided by the NSW government under its Crown Reserves Improvement Fund (CRIF) program, and would be a great asset to the community.


“Crown Reserves provide land for recreation, community organisations and facilities, and protect our environment, including habitat for native plants and animals,” Ms Preston said.


“I know how important these assets are to Hawkesbury so the announcement of $110,681 for the maintenance and improvements of Freemans Reach School of Arts hall is well deserved. Works will include the construction of a retaining wall, repairs to the iron wall, fencing, new pathways, painting, tree pruning, and the installation of a fire hydrant.”


The Mechanics Institute was granted land, known locally as Freemans Land, by the Department of Lands for the Freemans Reach School of Arts building, largely built by volunteer labour and opening on 11 April 1901.


It’s also been a school room, and much more.


“I’d like to congratulate Glenda Chapman for submitting the application for this grant,” Ms Preston said.


Hawkesbury River County Council will also receive $12,250 of CRIF funding for the harvesting of aquatic weeds from the nearby Nepean River.


“Maintaining and enhancing our Crown reserves means residents have access to quality spaces for sports and fitness, or to just relax, rejuvenate and to get in touch with nature, and each other.” Ms Preston said.


NSW Minister for Lands and Water, Kevin Anderson, said Crown reserves played an important role in business, tourism, recreation, well-being, and the biodiversity of the state, which is why the NSW Government was delivering the funding.


“Crown land covers around 34 million hectares or 42 per cent of NSW and we have about 35,000 Crown reserves that accommodate parks, community halls, nature areas, show grounds, sporting facilities, camping areas and walking tracks,” Mr Anderson said.


“They also provide support to community groups like Men’s Sheds, Police Citizens Youth Clubs, Surf Life Saving clubs Scouts and Girl Guides. These groups all do amazing work, which is why it is so important the NSW Government continues to support them.


“These projects funded by the NSW Government will benefit many thousands of people and contribute to the cultural, sporting and recreational life of hundreds of communities with the potential to provide stimulus to local economies and create jobs.”


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