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Bowled over by plans for Mark Taylor Oval


New artist impressions showcase how $9 million in funding from the NSW Government will inspire the next generation of cricketers in Sydney’s north.

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said Hornsby Shire Council’s commitment to improving the popular Waitara Park would benefit both aspiring athletes and the local community.

“The $9 million NSW Government investment will help deliver a number of improvements including an upgraded sports surface, an indoor cricket facility and a start-of-the-art pavilion, making Mark Taylor Oval a premier sporting destination,” Mrs Hancock said.

“A Centre of Excellence like this one will allow for even more people from the Northern District Cricket Club and Hornsby Rugby Club to train and play at this world-class facility.”

Council is working in partnership with Northern District Cricket Club to deliver facilities for the sporting community of Waitara and the Hornsby region.

The project is being delivered in three stages:

  1. Complete reconstruction of the Mark Taylor Oval playing surface
  2. Indoor Cricket Centre that includes community use, and
  3. New pavilion incorporating seating, universal change rooms, clubrooms for cricket and rugby, general community space and meeting rooms

Member for Hornsby Matt Kean said Hornsby is one of Sydney’s prestigious cricketing regions, supported by a wealth of players.

“The new $2.1 million indoor centre, due to commence construction later this year, is going to be a game-changer for cricketers in the local area,” Mr Kean said.

“An upgrade of this magnitude illustrates to our young cricketers and the community that you can go all the way, even in your own backyard.”

Member for Ku-ring-gai Alister Henskens said the upgrade will support regional players to compete at the top club level, and encourage even more girls and women to participate in sport.

“The Northern District Cricket Club has players from all over Sydney, the Central Coast and the Hunter with a very strong girls and women’s program, and it’s pleasing to see facilities will now be improved to an elite level with this project,” Mr Henskens said.

“The NSW Government’s strong investment here supports Hornsby Shire Council’s vision to host international women’s cricket at Mark Taylor Oval in years to come.”

Hornsby Shire Council Mayor Philip Ruddock said the Centre for Excellence project will deliver home grown facilities and provide a pathway for local talented players.

“We’re working with the Northern District Cricket Club and other key stakeholders to ensure we have a sportsground the Hornsby Shire community can be proud of,” Mayor Ruddock said.

“The first stage of work will commence in August this year when the oval will be reconstructed with new irrigation, drainage and turf being installed.

“When complete, Waitara Park will not only support greater participation for women in cricket and rugby, but will also provide informal recreation opportunities for locals.”

Work on Mark Taylor Oval is scheduled to be completed early in 2022 and the ground will be available for use for the winter rugby season.

Northern District Cricket Club President Jeremy Hook said the future looked bright for local sportspeople including cricketers and rugby players.

“The cricket club has been based at Mark Taylor Oval for nearly 100 years so we’re looking forward to having a headquarters that will nurture today and tomorrow’s up-and-coming cricketers,” Mr Hook said.

“A sporting complex that caters to the growing needs of young people in the local area might mean we’ll see the next Mark Taylor right here in Hornsby.”

The development application for the $5.4 million redeveloped pavilion will be lodged later this year.