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Regional Arts Development Central West NSW

Local projects supported by the NSW Regional Tourism Activation Fund

Cowra Civic Centre funding

Cowra Civic Centre will get a major accessibility upgrade, stage two of the Forbes Culture Centre project will be supported, The Dish at Parkes gets an accessibility upgrade and Parkes will get a very Elvis entrance way.

The NSW Government’s one-off $30 million Regional Tourism Activation Fund was aimed at “accelerating the development of new and enhanced tourism infrastructure across regional NSW”.

In their statement the NSW Government says: “Regional NSW is home to iconic tourist destinations and visitor attractions that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. People visiting these attractions spend important tourist dollars in local restaurants, cafes, shops and accommodation, boosting regional NSW economies and allowing money to flow into local communities.”

The NSW Government has announced that 37 projects will receive funding through the NSW Government’s $30 million Regional Tourism Activation Fund. The projects will support the development of unique and high impact tourism infrastructure and improve the accessibility of visitor experiences across regional NSW.

See a map and read more about all the funded projects

Arts OutWest supported a number of applications from the Central West with letters of support and conversations and is pleased to see these cultural and regional tourism projects supported.

The funded projects in the NSW Central West:

Cowra Civic Centre Accessibility Upgrade

The project comprises five component parts designed to upgrade the Cowra Civic Centre – Cowra’s principal performance centre and major function venue – allowing more patrons to access the facility regardless of the level of ability. Completion of the five component parts: Installation of a Hearing Aid Loop, Installation of Automatic Entrance Doors, Installation of New Toilet Doors, Fitting of Retractable Raked Seating to the upstairs 88-seat Theatrette and Recarpeting throughout, will make the venue a more welcoming, inclusive and accessible public building for both locals and visitors.

Total NSW funding:337,038


The Forbes Arts Society is renovating the former Forbes Ambulance Station into the new Forbes Cultural Centre and Art Gallery (“Centre”). The Centre will house a vibrant and inclusive art gallery, meeting rooms, performance/workshop spaces and a café. Stage Two of the project will include the acquisition and development of a disused neighbouring parcel of land (146m2) on the eastern boundary of the Centre to facilitate improved accessibility, safety, and usability of the Centre. The project includes the construction of a driveway and weather-proof loading area, paved pathway for pedestrian access, extended outdoor dining area and events space.

Total NSW funding: 347,600 (with co-contribution)

Gates of Graceland @ Parkes

To greet visitors to Parkes, the Elvis capital of Australia, full-sized ‘Graceland’ replica gates will be constructed echoing those of Elvis’ US home. Brick gate posts will adorn honorary plaques of Australian music greats, becoming the Elvis Festival’s revitalised Wall of Fame. A path leading to the gates will be edged with Hollywood stars, commemorating the yearly winners of the Parkes Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. This unique year-round attraction will fill social media newsfeeds with pictures of fans getting a hunka’ burnin’ love in front of the gates attracting new followers and enticing others to see it for themselves.

Total NSW funding:376,707 (with co-contribution)

Playground Installation and Accessibility Upgrades to CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope Visitor’s Centre (The Dish)

Enhance the experience for all visitors to the world famous “Dish”, at the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope Discovery Visitor Centre. The aim is to increase the accessibility to all indoor and outdoor visitor areas at the facility, and therefore improve the visitor experience by making the Visitor Centre more mobility friendly, inclusive, and family friendly.
Total NSW funding:500,000 (with co-contribition).

In Lachlan Shire funds ($550,000 ) will go to Gum Bend Lake Walkway Stage 3.

In Mudgee funds will also go towards Glen Willow Stadium Accessible Amenities Building ($103,000) and Flirtation Hill Mudgee Activation Development ($375,000)


IMAGE: Steph Cook MP, Member for Cootamundra presents a novelty sized cheque. Photo: Cowra Civic Centre Instagram.