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SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Tuesday July 25 2017 7 News Tourism boost aim of heritage park • By Georgia O’Connor-Harding DESTINATION: Plans have been put forward to transform an old district council workshop yard into a heritage park. THE VISION for a major overhaul to fast-track Ellesmere into a tourist destination has been revealed. The plans, presented by the Ellesmere Heritage Park Trust at a district council meeting, have been more than six years in the making. The presentation was made by trust chairman Chris Peacock and Geraint Howells, of Include Ltd, who helped produce the plans. “If you want tourists, you are going to have to provide quality tourist destinations,” Mr Howells said. The plans centre around transforming a former district council workshop yard into a cultural and heritage park. A museum, two exhibition spaces, multiple heritage buildings and a community centre with a theatre have been earmarked for the site on Leeston Rd, bordering the Ellesmere A & P Showgrounds. The plan is to earthquakestrengthen the old workshop shed and convert it into a museum to display more than 7000 of the trust’s artefacts. A building permit is being sought for the trust’s historic cottage, which is already on site and will be restored. The trust hopes to source other heritage buildings from around Selwyn for the site. Plans have also been pitched to include a potential campervan/ camp site, an i-SITE visitor information centre, store shed, picnic area, playground and bicycle hire. It is estimated the entire heritage park site project would cost about $600,000. Trust member Grant Clausen said the project will be a catalyst for improving tourism in the area. But he said the plans were only a vision at this stage and were yet to be finalised. With an emphasis on bringing more tourists into the area, additional ideas for a heritage trail, horse trekking and walking tracks have been put forward. The heritage trail would run from Akaroa to Timaru, while horse trekking, cycle and walking tracks could be established around Lake Ellesmere/Te Waihora. Mr Clausen said the lake has two bird sanctuaries and, in spite of algal bloom, still has eels, trout and flounder living in it. While Mr Clausen did not wish to say how much Pat McEvedy had been fundraised, the trust has raised enough to undertake research into the project. The district council has put $20,000 into the project. A timeline for the project is yet to be established. The next step will be further consultation with the public and the trust will begin applying for funding applications. Councillor Pat McEvedy said the district council has done a good job supporting the trust, and the trust has rewarded it by coming back with a vision. HAVE YOUR SAY: Would you like to see Ellesmere transformed into a tourist destination? Email your views to georgia.oconnor@ starmedia.kiwi BE A GOOD NEIGHBOUR Crazy but true – you can have a smoke-free fire. You’ll be warmer and save on firewood! Learn how to burn smoke-free and be in to WIN great prizes. Enter meow. Your fence, your style! QUALITY • STYLE • PRIVACY Prizes to WIN! Purrrfect. An iPad 12 Kindling Crackers CALL US TODAY FOR A NO OBLIGATION QUOTE 40 Cosy Home Packs CHRISTCHURCH 55 Hands Road Ph: (03) 338 9063 www.stratco.co.nz Learn more at our website.