FRRR funds awarded to store Cummins Christmas Wonderland items

STORAGE: Grace Coombs and Leanne Millhouse amongst the many items that have featured in the Cummins Christmas Wonderland. Photo: Jarrad Delaney
STORAGE: Grace Coombs and Leanne Millhouse amongst the many items that have featured in the Cummins Christmas Wonderland. Photo: Jarrad Delaney

Cummins and District Enterprise Committee has received an early Christmas present with funding to help them store the many decorations and displays seen every year as part of the Cummins Christmas Wonderland.

The Foundation for Rural Regional Renewal has announced 90 community initiatives across Australia will share in $1 million in funding through the Strengthening Rural Communities grant program.

Of this more than $450,000 has been awarded through the program's 'Small and Vital' funding stream to 56 projects identified as priorities local communities have prioritised for their long-term viability and vitality.

The enterprise committee will receive $4140 to go towards a storage platform as a new storage facility is coming together to store decorations and display used in the annual Christmas Wonderland event.

Christmas Wonderland subcommittee chairperson Grace Coombs said the grant funding was a welcome surprise.

"We were gratefully surprised to obtain the FRRR funding because we had applied previously without success," she said.

The enterprise committee has been storing items for the Christmas Wonderland in the old Cummins Scout Hall on Dodd Street for the past 13 years, however the need for a new storage facility arose when the property came up for sale.

Mrs Coombs said they had looked at facilities around town but they could not find a suitable location due to factors including size, accessibility and suitability for the committee's purpose, leading to a new storage shed coming together on the Cummins Showgrounds site.

"We couldn't buy the Scout Hall because it needed a lot of work, it is an old building that we had outgrown," she said.

Some of the items involved in the Cummins Christmas Wonderland in storage.

Some of the items involved in the Cummins Christmas Wonderland in storage.

"After we looked around town to see what options we had, the only course of procedure was, for the same price that the Scout Hall was, we put this (shed) on public land.

"The grant has come at an opportune time because we won't move in until February and will have the platform ready to go."

The committee will look to officially open the new storage facility in the future, but in the meantime planning continues on the upcoming Cummins Christmas Wonderland later this year.

New attractions are being planned as well as some old favourites being upcycled into new look displays.

Last year saw the Christmas Wonderland held inside the Cummins Institute for the first time, which will serve as its home for the foreseeable future.

Mrs Coombs said the Christmas Wonderland continued to receive support from the enterprise committee as and local businesses, with school groups continuing to come in to see what was on display.

She said there were many volunteers who helped to make the event possible, from the 11 on the committee to others who helped during the event and others who provided services such as transport or setting up/packing up the event.

Cummins and District Enterprise Committee chairperson Leanne Millhouse said the Christmas event was something the committee, and community looked forward to each year.

"The community is very supportive of it and it benefits so many people," she said.

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