Preparation has paid off for Lake Keepit Sailing Club, after it was named a recipient of more than $80,600 for upgrades and extensions.
The club is one of several groups in the Gunnedah area that will receive Drought Communities Program (DCP) funding.
And it was the members’ vision for the future that allowed them to pounce on the opportunity to apply.
It will mean the club can make its parking area safer, its grounds better-maintained, its boat storage better and its top deck bigger.
It's not known yet when the club will receive the funds, but one of the criteria was that projects must be completed by June 30.
Commodore Ian Pine said that, when Gunnedah Shire Council invited requests for the federal funding, “We swung into gear.”
“We used some of our forward planning, that we continually do, to enable us to put in a sufficiently strong expression of interest that we gained the support of the council,” he said.
The club will install safety railing to the disability road access and parking area, and an automated watering system for its lawn area.
The bigger vision - extensions to the clubhouse - had been on the agenda “for a very long time”.
“We even got to the stage in about 2008 where we had plans drawn up, but it was always dependent on finding the funds to do it,” Mr Pine said - and those plans were able to be reviewed and re-costed for the DCP process.
They will include extra storage for the boats and sails the club needs on hand for different age and ability groups, as an accredited training organisation.
It also means an extension to the top deck, with extra room for updated and more shower and toilet facilities, particularly for females.
"The space is covered in this grant, but the showers and toilets are not," Mr Pine said.
"We'll probably use some club funds and other grants to fit out the top deck, but the thing is, this allows us to get the 'heavy lifting' done …
"This grant will provide a considerable amount of expenditure and employment in our local area [and], in the long term, the clubhouse will be a much better asset for people who like the water."