“We are absolutely over the moon,” says Eden Mountain Bike Club’s Stan Soroka after hearing the NSW Government will provide more than $4.5million to see the Eden Mountain Bike Hub completed.
Mr Soroka said the Eden community had faced numerous hardships in recent years “we’ve been belted around the ears a lot and the area deserves this [investment].”
“We’ve had a history of a lot of promises and things then not happening, but this is going to be a turning point for Eden and the regional area.
“Everyone I’ve spoken to today has been over the moon.”
Mr Soroka said it took careful planning and effort from a dedicated crew including hundreds of hours of research and grant applications to get the Eden Mountain Bike Hub project off the ground, and Wednesday’s funding announcement meant it would go ahead.
“It’s all still sinking in, we’re ecstatic, it’s a bit of a shock,” Mr Soroka beamed.
“We didn’t want to promise too much and not deliver, so now we can go and spruik and let the world know what’s coming – it’s a fantastic feeling of achievement for the whole team.”
The club initially secured a $25,000 grant, which allowed them to have an audit of the proposed track site and that audit confirmed everything Mountain bikers around town had dreamed of – that Eden had potential to become a mountain biking mecca.
Mr Soroka said a second grant to fund the drawing of plans and track layouts will also come to fruition as early as next week, meaning work can begin quickly.
“The concept plan and design for where the trails are going to go should be done next week, so by the time we sign all the agreements we can put boots on the ground and build it,” he said.
“The ducks are all lining up, we’ve applied for other grants as well, but the main ones are over the line.”
He said the Eden club were hopeful to link with other biking destinations like Tathra, Narooma, Mogo and the Monaro, while getting the nod from the government on Wednesday cemented Eden as an eco-tourism destination.
“We have a real destination here, you can come to go biking and the next day surfing, then fishing, visit the breweries, walk some trails – People can come and enjoy themselves,” he said.
“I am really still in shock, it’s a great feeling, it’s just fantastic.”