A major fitness attraction may soon begin to take shape in the region after the state government announced funding for a Bacchus Marsh project.
The Moorabool Shire Council plan to build the The Bacchus Marsh 1000+ steps at Bald Hill has successfully obtained a $500,000 grant from Regional Development Victoria (RDV), under the Government's Regional Infrastructure Fund.
Inspired by the iconic Kokoda Track Memorial Walk (otherwise known as the 1000 steps) in the Dandenong Ranges, the project is projected to begin construction in 2021 following an extensive consultation project.
Ballarat Race Walkers Club president Wayne Peart said the announcement is welcome news, believing the attraction would be very beneficial for athletes across the state.
"Every day I see athletes around Ballarat running up our hilly streets and scaling steps across the city to train," he said.
"Having facilities like the 1000 steps in the Dandenongs would be great, It's going to be a great tool for us and we can't wait to see it completed.
"I think it could also be very helpful for athletes around the state. It will be a lot closer for athletes in Geelong to use, as well as members of the Victorian Race Walking Club, which is based at Albert Park in Melbourne."
Moorabool Shire Council Mayor Cr David Edwards echoed these sentiments, saying in a statement he is tremendously excited for the project to move forward.
"We're delighted the funds for this project have come through," he said.
"Council staff have put in a lot of work to come up with a concept for creating something similar to the 1000 steps in the Dandenongs.
"We'll use the existing walking trail on Bald Hill but create a place for exercise, recreation, potentially art spaces - we have great plans for the area that will attract locals and visitors."
"Council will consult with local landowners, the wider community and key stakeholders, and from that, we'll have an idea of what's possible and what people would like to see in the space.
"We're very excited about transforming Bald Hill into an attractive tourist destination and we thank RDV for kickstarting the project."
It remains unclear whether the attraction will mirror the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk, which is about three kilometres long, or home a shorter return track.
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