A major upgrade of the historic heritage property Saumarez Homestead could triple its annual number of visitors, after the signing of the $2.7 million deed of grant by NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet on Tuesday, February 5.
Saumarez Homestead manager Les Davis said it was the final step between the National Trust, Armidale Regional Council and the State Government, but now it was done the money could begin to flow.
“They like to get everything in place so they know who is responsible for what and what the milestones are,” Mr Davis said.
On Tuesday February 12, a site visit and meeting between the Saumarez Homestead Steering Committee, Saumarez Homestead Advisory Committee and Armidale Regional Council took place at the Saumarez Function Centre to put the whole action plan into place.
Mr Davis said plans and designs had been ticking along in the background since early last year.
“But now, Council representatives are here today outlining how we develop our Section 60 application to Heritage Branch prior to us lodging a DA for the whole project,” he said.
Development of better facilities for wedding receptions in the Jackson Centre, the conversion of an old brick garage to a toilet and shower block for visiting motor home groups and 10 heritage style cabins for visitors to stay at Saumarez will all be in the mix of improvements.
Saumarez Homestead manager Les Davis said visitor numbers were expected to go from 10,000 to 35,000 per year was expected to create 16 new jobs and inject in an additional $6.5 million tourist dollars into the Armidale region. He said it was the most exciting project seen in this region for decades.