North Melbourne is set to complete Stage 2 of its Arden St redevelopment, after being granted more than $7 million by the Victorian State Government.

The club’s plans include community and AFLW/VFLW female friendly changerooms, umpires changerooms, multipurpose meeting spaces, multi-media facilities, away team doctor/first aid/ASADA office, a commercial kitchen, and a re-design of the club’s community arm, The Huddle, which includes office space for volunteers.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula, said it was an important move to bridge our communities.

“Every footballer deserves an equal chance to play the game to the best of their ability and that’s why we back initiatives that provide a level playing field,” Pakula said.

“Beyond the game, North Melbourne have shown leadership in their community involvement and the new facilities will allow them to extend this reach.”

North CEO Ben Amarfio welcomed the news and said the funding will go a long way to ensure North’s headquarters remain among the best in the competition and adequately support community needs.

“We thank the Victorian State Government for the opportunity to enhance our Arden St home,” Amarfio said.

“This next redevelopment will ensure we have state-of-the-art facilities for our four elite programs, AFL, AFLW, VFL and VFLW, which will continue to assist us in attracting top-end talent in the search for our next premiership.

“The plans also add to our ability to play games at Arden St by providing away teams their own change rooms, as well as umpires changerooms, and rooms for the away team doctor and first aid.

“The expansion also includes upgrades to our community facilities to cater to the growing demand from local schools, sports clubs, cultural groups, universities and residents, providing access to resources to aid health and wellbeing, cultural identity, education, training, and employment programs, therefore strengthening social inclusion.

“After the completion of the Stage 2 redevelopment, North and its members, along with government funding, will have invested approximately $30 million into its state-of-the-art facilities.”

The Huddle CEO Cam McLeod said the funding was integral to ensure the community arm maintains its award winning programs and standards.

“We’re extremely grateful and would like to thank the Victorian State Government for its ongoing support,” McLeod said.

“It’s really important that we have greater resources for our community members, and the opportunity to create a safe and inclusive space for all.

“We’ve also got an incredible number of volunteers that donate their time to The Huddle so providing allocated space for them to come in and assist youth to learn, grow and belong is really important.”

Construction is set to commence early in 2021.