Richmond Football Club’s vision for a fully integrated, elite training and education hub at the Swinburne Centre is a step closer to reality after the Federal Government announced a $15 million commitment to the project.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced the Federal Government support at the Swinburne Centre this morning. Central to the redevelopment is the establishment of the William Cooper Centre, to support community programming and women’s football.

“We believe football clubs have the capacity – and responsibility - to bring people together, to bind and strengthen communities. We sincerely thank the Federal Government for sharing our vision,” Richmond CEO Brendon Gale said following the announcement.

“This facility will broaden and deepen Korin Gamadji Institute programming, strengthen our partnership with the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS) and provide a permanent home to the Bachar Houli Foundation, cementing the legacy of a great Australian.

“Significantly it will also provide the administration space and facilities to enable the delivery of exceptional men’s and women’s football programming. Today is a very significant step forward and we will now continue to work to source the remaining funding required to bring this $60 million vision to life.

“I would like to acknowledge that announcements like this would not become a reality without the many important partnerships we have developed with organisations and communities. We thank each for the guidance and support they have provided us as our community activities have taken shape.”

Prime Minister Morrison said the William Cooper Centre would bring together sport, culture and diversity under one roof.

“Australians know all too well that the power of sport extends beyond the boundary line and that’s what establishing the William Cooper Centre is all about,” Prime Minister Morrison said.

“This Centre encourages inclusion, promotes understanding and will empower young Australians from a diverse range of backgrounds to achieve great things. We’re building on our plan for Australia’s population with projects like this, by helping promote stronger ties within our communities.

“It will serve as an enduring legacy for its namesake William Cooper, who was one of the leaders of the NAIDOC movement, and has inspired generations of Indigenous people to follow in his leadership.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Morrison Government’s investment would ensure that more young people could share in the benefits of important programs without the constraints at the current facilities.

“We understand that initiatives like the Korin Gamadji Institute, the Bachar Houli Academy, MITS and increasing women’s participation in sport play an important role in the social and economic success of our community,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“Our Government can make these investments, which benefit our communities, because our plan for a stronger economy is working.”