Ballina Community Men's Shed has lodged a development application to build new premises at Racecourse Rd.
Ballina Community Men's Shed has lodged a development application to build new premises at Racecourse Rd. Samantha Elley

Men's shed gearing up to build new home

THE long search to find a place to call home has come to an end for the Ballina Community Men's Shed.

Heads of the men's shed lodged a development application for their new facility at Racecourse Rd to the council this week.

Coordinator Graham Eggins said lodging the application was the culmination of an 18 month process, mainly to get government approval to develop and operate on Crown Land.

"It's a big milestone getting the DA into council," Mr Eggins said.

Mr Eggins said he envisioned the site would facilitate numerous activities such as leather and metal work as well as model building and music.

Most importantly, Mr Eggins was excited to have found land to set down permanent roots after "searching for land for many, many years".

Established eight years ago, the group of 55 out-grew its former home at Southern Cross School about two years ago and had since moved around Ballina working from temporary locations.

And they'll be moving again in February after their lease expires at its current Smith Dr location.

His main goal over the next year is to raise the funds needed to turn the first sod on the development.

Meanwhile, Mr Eggins said the men have geared up to apply for grants and fundraise to scrape together the funds pay for the estimated $450,000 facility.

In the bank so far, Mr Eggins said they have $66,000 to contribute toward the big build and another $66,000 from a grant.

He welcomed anyone who could provide in-kind help such as building services and supplies.

The men's shed walkathon on Saturday, November 25 marks the next major fundraiser for their new home.

Participants are to meet at Meldrum Park for 8am to begin the walk to Ballina north wall and back.

A barbecue and refreshments would be provided after the walk.

For more information call Graham Eggins, 0416 004 013.

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