Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro and Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams today announced $7.5 million to establish a Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) in Port Macquarie.

Mrs Williams said the centrally located Hastings Senior College Port Macquarie Campus was the ideal location for the Port Macquarie Regional PCYC as it provided convenient access to the local youth population and wider community.

The $7.5 million funding, together with financial contributions from the NSW Department of Education and PCYC NSW, will provide two indoor basketball courts, a gymnastics space, a multipurpose performing arts centre, training areas, change rooms, shared community program spaces and a community and youth hub.

“Port Macquarie is a regional sports hub with excellent outdoor facilities and the new PCYC means the town’s 10,000 young people will also have access to state of the art indoor facilities,” Mrs Williams said.

“By providing these facilities we will encourage increased youth participation in a variety of sports and performance arts, leading to a decrease in anti-social behaviour and improved youth employment prospects.

“PCYC will also work hand in hand with NSW Police Youth and Crime Prevention Command and local officers, who will work with at risk youth through programs such as Fit For Life, which guides young people towards social and economic success.”

Mr Barilaro said the NSW Government was committed to doing more to help young people living in regional NSW, with a particular focus on their mental health and wellbeing.

“I know the current drought is directly and indirectly affecting the mental health of people of all ages across the regions and while we are providing economic relief, we also have to address issues around mental wellbeing,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Sport and socialising are the cornerstone of regional communities and PCYC provides both, connecting young people with mentors who can provide guidance and develop leadership skills and a sense of social responsibility through sport.

“This government will back excellent local youth programs that make a difference and PCYC’s track record speaks for itself, which is why I am confident this venture will benefit the entire Port Macquarie community.”

Funding for the Port Macquarie Regional PCYC has been secured from the NSW Government Regional Communities Development Fund.