The upgrade to the new soft-fall rodeo arena at the Gunnedah Showground is full steam ahead.
B.P. Crane Contracting Pty Ltd has been awarded the project to construct the new arena, and works are well under way.
The project includes the demolition of the existing rodeo arena and associated rear cattle yards, the construction of a new rodeo arena building platform, and the design and construction of the new rodeo arena and operating yards.
It also includes new bucking chutes, railings, cattle management chutes, timed event chutes, holding pens, drafting lanes and loading facilities.
Gunnedah Show Society president Rob Witts said it was going to be a "great asset" for the showground, and the users of the rodeo section, campdrafting, and the Gunnedah and District Pony Club.
"Hopefully, it will attract other people to town to use it when it's finished," Mr Witts said.
"We've been waiting for it to happen, as well as the putting up of the new lights and the new PA system, which should happen in the next two to three months as well."
It's the first stage of the overhaul of the showground, and is funded through a $1.5 million state government Stronger Country Communities Fund grant and a Gunnedah Shire Council co-contribution.
"The aim of these upgrades is to provide increased community and cultural connections, a safer event operating environment and to enhance existing and future events held by local and broader community user groups," a council spokesperson said.
"The project has commenced with demolition and earthworks now largely complete, and construction of the new rodeo arena fencing is currently under way."
Earthworks and demolition was carried out by Palmers Landscapes.
The spokesperson said the council anticipated that the first stage of the project would be completed at about the end of October.
The second project will include installation of arena lighting to facilitate larger night events and the installation of an accessible toilet/shower block to accommodate current and future usage.
Funding will also cover the construction of six shaded, picnic shelters and the replacement of grandstand seating with portable, accessible and tiered grandstand seating.