Construction has started on the Tamworth Regional Astronomy and Science Centre, which is expected to bring of educational and financial opportunities after it opens.
Tamworth Regional Council Deputy Mayor Phil Betts said: “It has educational benefits for our own community but also potential positive impacts for our local economy though increased visitation by tourists, students and scientists.”
“It’s so exciting to know that in about six months time we will have a unique tourism and educational facility. I have no doubt it will be a drawcard not only for tourists as part of the Inland Astro-Trail but also researchers and astronomers from around the world.”
The construction will include a large observatory with a roll-off roof to house multiple medium to large telescopes; a multi-functional space for the display of instruments and educational instruction; amenities, car park and utility infrastructure.
The project has been possible through the partnership between Tamworth Regional Council, the NSW Government, and Tamworth Regional Astronomy Club. The individual contributions are:
• Tamworth Regional Council – $105,000 (carpark upgrade), $300,000 (water and sewer infrastructure)
• NSW Government – $1.804m (Round One of the Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund)
• Tamworth Regional Astronomy Club – $38,000 (specialist equipment), $40,000
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said: “This new Regional Astronomy and Science Centre will help Tamworth become a must-see destination attracting thousands of ‘astro-tourists’ looking to the skies for their next adventure.”
President of the Tamworth Regional Astronomy Club, Leigh Tschirpig, said: “The new complex at Victoria Park will provide enormous educational, scientific, tourism and associated opportunities with the installation of an array of the Club’s telescopes for viewing and photographing the night sky.”
“The sky is certainly the limit with the establishment of this exciting astronomy and science facility which is set to become another major drawcard for the Tamworth region.”
The new centre will be located at Victoria Park, Tamworth and is expected to be completed in October this year.