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Funding with tourism focus seen as great opportunity

The Accelerate25 Lead Team have welcomed today’s announcement, which will see Provincial Growth Funding invested in projects targeted at improving tourism potential in Te Āpiti – Manawatū Gorge.

This morning, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau met with successful Provincial Growth Fund applicants in Woodville.

A unique tourist trail between Woodville and Ashhurst to showcase Māori culture will receive $100,000 to investigate its potential. While a further $100,000 will go to the Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) to evaluate a range of new tourism experiences in Te Āpiti - Manawatū Gorge.

Accelerate25 Lead Team member and Te Āpiti - Manawatū Gorge Governance Group chair Bruce Gordon is thrilled with the announcement.

“Tourism in our region was identified as a key opportunity in the Manawatū-Whanganui Economic Action Plan, and Te Āpiti - Manawatū Gorge is a unique landmark, filled with untapped tourism potential,” he says.

“Additionally, Te Āpiti – Manawatū Gorge Governance Group’s emphasis is on the recreational, biodiversity, educational and cultural values of the area.

“This funding is important as it will allow the recipients to consider ideas, with those values at the forefront of mind, and narrow them down to some key focus areas for further investment.”

Mr Gordon, who is also the chair of Horizons Regional Council, believes a tourist trail between Woodville and Ashhurst will be an innovative solution to showcase Māori culture.

“Virtual reality technology will be utilised to tell the story of Māori gods and their place in Te Ao Māori, it will be a fascinating way of informing tourists and our community of our rich history.”

While in Woodville, Mr Tabuteau also heard from Tararua mayor Tracey Collis about the district’s connectivity hub and a drive towards a coordinated, well-designed mobile connectivity structure.

This afternoon, Mr Tabuteau travelled to Feilding to receive an update on the PGF-funded National Driver Training Centre and employment hub at Manfeild.

CEDA’s feasibility study for Te Āpiti - Manawatū Gorge is already underway, with completion expected in August.

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