New visitor centre takes flight at Scone Regional Airport

THE Upper Hunter will soon boast a new visitor centre at the Scone Regional Airport.

New England MP Barnaby Joyce and Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen announced on Friday that the Upper Hunter Shire Council had received a grant of $171,400 to back the $342,800 project.

Mr Johnsen said the grant was from the 2017/18 round of the Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure (TDDI) program, a commonwealth-funded initiative administered by the state government to support tourism projects that drive demand and increase local expenditure. 

“This project is to develop the architectural design and detailed construction drawings for a proposed Aviation Visitor Attraction at the Scone Regional Airport, creating three new full-time roles,” he said.

“The facility design will include space for a cafe, gift shop, function centre and interactive aircraft display, creating new opportunities for the local economy and tourism industry.”

Mr Joyce said the commonwealth had allocated funding through the TDDI to state and territory governments for tourism infrastructure projects where project proponents provide or source matching funding. 

“This funding will support the delivery of projects that contribute to Tourism 2020 outcomes, namely to achieve more than $115 billion in overnight visitor spending by 2020 (up from $70 billion in 2009),” he explained.

“This program is national, with 41 projects supported in NSW by the TDDI and funded to the sum of $9.25 million.”

NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said the tourism sector was worth $33.2 billion per year in international and domestic visitor expenditure to the NSW economy and directly employed 164,000 people. 

“Tourism is one of our state’s most important sectors and support for projects like this is vital to help local communities and economies grow and prosper,” he said.

“At the heart of the sector’s success are the many hard-working individuals and businesses across NSW who work tirelessly to deliver world-class tourism experiences like this one.”