Lithgow’s iconic blast furnace project has received $350,000 under the Federal Government’s Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure Program announced by Federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee and State Member for Bathurst Paul Toole today.
The Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure Program, which is funded by the Federal Government and administered by the NSW Government, provides financial investment to develop tourism infrastructure, ensuring that the benefits of any government investment can be multiplied across the sector. Lithgow City Council will provide an additional $550,000 towards the project.
Mr Gee said this investment in Lithgow’s tourism industry would have an important flow-on effect, providing a boost to jobs and economic growth in the region.
“The Lithgow Blast Furnace is a major tourist attraction for our region, being the first iron and steel works in Australia. It is something that we should be building upon and developing,” Mr Gee said.
“This funding is in addition to the $545,050 the Federal Government committed last year through its National Stronger Regions Fund, and will upgrade the furnace works to enable public use of the state heritage listed facility. It will be linked with other cultural and heritage facilities in the area, and will create a performance space for events such as Iron Fest, Lithglo, film festivals, vintage car events, music festivals and art installations.”
State Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said that the Blast Furnace already has some silver screen history with two short Australian Films – Flat Daddy and The Ground Beneath, filmed in part at the site.
Mr Toole said, “This is a site, which is steeped in the history of Lithgow and is an incredible reminder of Lithgow’s industrial past. This project will establish the Blast Furnace site as the centrepiece of the Lithgow Cultural precinct which links a number of key heritage sites including the Lithgow State Mine, Eskbank House and Museum and Lake Pillans wetland.”
“Previously the NSW State Government, through its ClubGrants scheme provided $300,000 to Lithgow City Council to promote this area as a key destination for enhancing the visitor economy. This has now seen an investment of over $1 million from the State and Federal Governments into Lithgow’s iconic Blast Furnace .” Mr Toole said.