Hills Hub, Emerald

Major projects

Address
Emerald Library and Mechanics Hall precinct at 400A Belgrave-Gembrook Road, Emerald.
Project description
After many years of planning and working with the community, a building contractor has been appointed and site establishment works have begun at Hills Hub.

The Emerald Community Hub will integrate a range of community groups and programs including a multi-purpose community space, Emerald U3A, Emerald Men’s Shed, 3MDR community radio station, Emerald Toy Library and the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Project group, enabling and supporting various volunteer and community initiatives.

Consolidating these community groups under one roof will also better connect people in the community, providing greater access to community activities, including skills-based learning. This project responds to emerging needs of local residents in Cockatoo, Emerald, Gembrook and surrounding townships.

Council is pleased to see works underway and acknowledges the community, stakeholders and contributors for their ongoing collaboration and perseverance. In particular, we thank the Advisory Group, who worked diligently to ensure the project moved forward, and the Emerald Mechanics Institute, who have managed programs at the existing hall for the community over the past 25 years.
Funding
The $8.1 million project is being funded by Council ($4.85 million), the Australian Government's National Stronger Regions Fund ($1.5 million), and the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Group and Dandenong Ranges Community Bank Group ($250,000) and Victorian Government's Growing Suburbs Fund ($1.5 million).
Progress update
Building contractor (Melbcon) has been appointed with site establishment works starting in February 2018. Construction is expected to be complete by mid 2019.
Benefits for the community
Consolidating these community groups under one roof will also better connect people in the community, providing greater access to community activities, including skills-based learning. This project responds to emerging needs of local residents in Cockatoo, Emerald, Gembrook and surrounding townships.
Working with the community
The Hills Hub has been a project three years in the making and is being developed in close consultation with the local community.

Council and the community established the Hills Hub Advisory Committee to ensure the hub will reflect the community’s needs. This Advisory Group consists of a wide range of stakeholders including, but not limited to: Emerald Mechanic’s Institute, Emerald Men’s Shed, Emerald University of the Third Age (U3A), 3MDR (Mountain District Radio), the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Group made up of a wide range of community organisations auspiced by the Bendigo Bank, who have committed funding from the community sector, the Emerald Village Committee, Worrell Reserve Committee, Emerald Toy Library, representatives from the Lions, and Rotary clubs as well as many general community members.

This group met on a monthly basis from February 2015 and commenced the first phase of the design process, and the preferred design concept was endorsed by the community after extensive engagement and consultation.
Map
Final design artwork