Venture Timaru receives major funding boost for Tourism

Venture Timaru secures major funding boost for tourism

28 July 2020

Four new tourism projects will be kick started in Timaru District as part of the new Government tourism asset funding announced today.

Venture Timaru has successfully secured the maximum allocation in the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme (STAPP) for a Regional Tourism Organisation of its size, worth $400,000 to the district.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have been successful with our bid for funding as it really is a game changer for our district and gives us the ability to push forward with some major legacy projects that will help attract visitors in the future,” said Venture Timaru operations manager Di Hay.

“One of the key criteria to gain funding was the willingness to collaborate with our neighbouring districts and regions, which is well underway.”

The four projects that have been highlighted are:

  • Geraldine Walkway & Sculpture Trail – development of a landscape design plan for the walkway and a project manager to lead the project and secure further funding.
  • South Canterbury Food Heritage Centre – feasibility study into the development of a multi-faceted Food Heritage Centre that features interactive exhibition spaces, highlighting the importance of our South Canterbury primary sector and food production history.
  • S.C.O.F.F. – South Canterbury Outstanding Food Festival – A new 10 day festival is being created by to reignite local activity in the hospitality sector while acknowledging and promoting the region’s agricultural and food production sector, that is the key employer and economic driver for the region.
  • Heritage Trails & Touring App – the development of an app to promote a touring route of the Central South Island and a series of self-guided heritage trails through the district.

“All of these projects are exciting for us and having the injection of funding means that can get underway as soon as possible,” said Ms Hay

“For the Heritage Trails and Touring App we will be working with our neighbours Mackenzie, Waimate and Waitaki districts who have been very keen to be part of this.  It makes a lot of sense for Timaru to take the lead on the Touring App as we are the largest population in the Central South Island and have the only commercial airport,” she said.

The South Canterbury Food Heritage Centre proposal and S.C.O.F.F. festival are clearly linked with the focus on the region’s agricultural and food production heritage.

“They both offer the opportunity to tell our special stories about our food and food manufacturing in South Canterbury, along with our people and place,” said Ms Hay.

Venture Timaru has also secured funding to produce three “hero” videos of the district which will be available for free promotional use and components of the videos will be used for future national and international campaigns which with the district with be aligned.

“These videos will be able to be used to promote our district through the usual tourism channels and also for businesses when recruiting staff, or other organisations to use as part of their bids to attract events here.”