A $500,000 grant from the Victorian State Government will fund a series of improvements made to the iconic Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens in Daylesford.

The funds will help to restore and celebrate the derelict day basin and improve the area surrounding the Pioneer Memorial Tower and day basin, along with other projects.

“The historic gardens are well-loved by the community and attract thousands of visitors each year,” said Mayor, Cr Lesley Hewitt. “The Regional Infrastructure Fund grant will make a vital contribution towards preserving and enhancing some of the key features of the beautiful gardens.”

Minister for Regional Development and Local Member of Parliament Mary-Anne Thomas made the funding announcement this week. Council will provide $188,000 to the project and the Friends of Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens will contribute $200,000.

“Thank you so much to the Friends of Wombat Hill Botanic Garden – your generosity and ongoing commitment to the gardens is invaluable and this funding will make a big difference in the ability to deliver priorities within the garden masterplan,” said Cr Hewitt.

Frank Page, Member of the Friends of Wombat Hill Botanic Garden, said the restoration of the day basin is one of the key projects for the gardens. “The day basin is located right near the Pioneer Memorial Tower and is where they stored the day’s water for Daylesford. Our plan is to restore it and make it safe,” said Mr Page.

“This funding is a wonderful outcome that has been brought to fruition by a long-term collaboration between Hepburn Shire and the Friends of Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens. All of you who have volunteered, supported open gardens and other fundraisers or just paid memberships should be very proud of the achievement of this wonderful opportunity to enhance an important social, scientific and cultural asset,” he said.