Manfeild gets charity funds boost

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 12:00 22/10/2012

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Manfeild Park has won a $450,000 Pub Charity grant that will allow it to reseal half of the main 3.03-kilometre racing circuit in March.

Chief executive Heather Verry said the trust was "absolutely delighted" with the grant which was included in the pokie trust's latest six-monthly round of allocations.

"It really does recognise Manfeild as a venue of national significance," she said.

"It's a huge reinforcement of what we are doing, and recognition of what it gives to the region, that an external source sees its value."

It is the second $450,000 grant Manfeild has received from Pub Charity. The earlier grant, two years ago, enabled completion of the outdoor arena, named in acknowledgement of the trust.

The track reseal will cost close to $1 million to complete.

The grant means the half of the track most urgently needing repair will be attended to promptly.

The stretch from turn one through the infield s-bends to the hairpin was most in need of improvements.

The other half is still sound enough to wait until further money is sourced.

The work is needed to ensure the track passes international inspections and retains its MotorSport New Zealand licence to host races.

The work will be slotted in between the New Zealand Grand Prix and the V8 SuperTourers sprint meeting, taking advantage of a lull in racing in the leadup to the Central Districts Field Days which are expected to attract close to 40,000 people.

The reseal needs time to cure before the track is ready for racing again.

In a future project, Manfeild is also planning to separate the 1.5km track extension from the main circuit to create a driver-training facility.

Pub Charity donated a total of $641,500 in grants in Manawatu District. The second largest grant, of $44,000, went to the Feilding and District Steam Rail Society.

Palmerston North groups attracted $389,500 from the trust in the six months to the end of September.

The biggest beneficiary in the city was Arohanui Hospice, which received a $74,000 grant.

The Multiple Sclerosis Society was granted $20,000, while grants of $10,000 or more went to CanTeen Manawatu, Central Districts Hockey, Manawatu Scottish Pipe Band and St Peter's College.

Some of the city applications that were declined were from the Palmerston North SafeCity Trust, Hockey Manawatu and Palmerston North Street Van.

Horowhenua District scored a total of $225,000, with grants over $10,000 going to the Hillbilly Hunting Club, the Horowhenua Events Centre Club, the Horowhenua Sports Turf Trust, Koputaroa School, Levin Old Boys' Cricket Club, and Weraroa Cricket Club.

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Rangitikei District got about $200,000, with the biggest grant of $20,000 to the Taihape Golf Club.

Tararua groups received $71,000, with the Dannevirke Golf Club collecting $18,600.

- Manawatu Standard

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