Bowen Neighbourhood chairperson Chris Coventry, Crystal Maaka, Bowen Neighbourhood Centre co-ordinator Deanna Tinirau and Natasha Leaver are ready to get shovel down on the site of the new centre.
Bowen Neighbourhood chairperson Chris Coventry, Crystal Maaka, Bowen Neighbourhood Centre co-ordinator Deanna Tinirau and Natasha Leaver are ready to get shovel down on the site of the new centre. Jordan Gilliland

Centre granted funds for new building

THE announcement of the state budget brought thousands of reasons for Bowen Neighbourhood Centre to jump for joy.

The Bowen Neighbourhood Centre was allocated $892,000 to design and construct a replacement centre.

This follows on from funding in the previous year's budget that allowed the centre to acquire land on Gregory St, for the upgraded centre.

It is expected that funding will continue for the centre in the 2020/21 Budget, with an estimated 2021 build completion date.

Bowen Neighbourhood Centre co-ordinator Deanna Tinirau said the whole organisation was ecstatic to see the next step.

"We are very cramped in our current location, so a new centre is going to open up the amount of services we are able to provide to the community," Ms Tinirau said.

"We've been fighting for a new centre for the good part of 10 years, as the current location is costing a lot to maintain and doesn't allow space for all the services we wish to provide.

"The new location will have a range of new and improved facilities that will not only allow us to give more services, but do so in a much more private and confidential manner."

Although still in the planning stages, it is expected that the new centre will consist of a large training and event room, offices that can be rented to community organisations, a catering kitchen and a new administration area. The transition to the new centre will also see Cooinda Family Centre relocated to the new location.

Bowen Neighbourhood Centre treasurer John Finlay said although the centre had been an amazing success story in the community, they had almost given up hope of ever getting an upgraded building.

"The amount of services that the neighbourhood centre has been able to give has continued to rise over the years, but unfortunately the space they have has not," he said.

"Having all this new space will open up more services, and will allow the centre to expand on its community initiatives, as well as continue to provide emergency and crisis services."


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