Racing Minister, Martin Pakula, meets with Ararat Rural City councillor Gary Hull to discuss an upgrade to the Ararat Harness Racing Club. Picture: MICHELLE DE’LISLE

ARARAT Harness Racing Club has received a record grantfollowing anannouncement made byMinister for Racing, Martin Pakula,

Mr Pakula visited the club on Friday where he announced theVictorian RacingIndustryFund (VRIF) will contribute $24,000 towards new asphalt in the racing stalls.

The difference to the project, estimated to be worth a over$48,000 in total, will be split byArarat Harness Racing Club and Harness Racing Victoria.

Mr Pakula saidasphalting the stalls will mean a better race-day experience, particularly for the participants.

“It will mean less dust, but also means the club has to use less water,” he said.

“It’s a great fund (VRIF). It means we can return money into the racing industry, for infrastructure, for race-day attraction and for projects such as this.

“It’s great to be out here. It’s good to have a tour and see the money’s going to be put to good use.”

Ararat Harness Racing Club secretary, Michele Berry, said asphalting the stalls will make it easier for the club to clean as well as reducing the amount of dust.

“It will also improve the facilities that we have here,” Ms Berry said.

“It’s very good for the clubindeed.”

The club was notified early in 2016it had been successful in its grant application. Works on the stalls are expected to start in early June, and will take three weeks to be completed.

“For our racing calendar next year, everything will be a lot cleaner and easier,” Ms Berry said.

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