Bega Tourism will get a boost thanks to a $14 million investment from the State Government’s Regional Tourism Activation Fund, delivering a nationally significant tourism facility and visitor experience.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole who was in Bega and Merimbula on Sunday (January 22) said the new National Circulaity Centre would be an iconic Education and tourism destination, showcasing AgTech, business innovation, and the emerging ciruclar economy.
“This will not only boost the region’s appeal as a domestic and international tourism destination but act as an incubator for future industry and employment in the South East,” Mr Toole said.
“The National Circularity Centre will immerse visitors with hands-on experiences, a providore store, and restauran and event facilities.
“This Centre will not just be for touists but will also support developing businesses by housing start-ups, indigenous organisations and research and development companies.”
Circularity Program Manager of Bega Group Andrew Taylor said the Centre would not be possible without the NSW Government and the help of significant land and financial contribution from founding co-operative member, Bega Cheese.
“The project is an excellent example of government, industry and the community working together.
“The National Circularity Centre will build resilience and accelerate tourism in the Bega Valley after a tough couple of years,” Mr Taylor said.
“The Centre will provide a home for circular economy iniatives, enhancing the local and national agenda.”
The $18 million Centre is expected to open in early 2026.
It will be designed by internationally recognised architect Phillip Cox’s team to reflect sustainable and circular building principles, with input from the local indigenous community.
The Regional Tourism Activation Fund aims to support projects that are accessible and inclusive and ensure all visitors to regional NSW have unforgetable experiences that encourage repeat visitation.
The Bega Valley will get around $25 million for works in the area including the Bega National Circularity Centre and the renewal of the Merimbula boardwalk.
“This is not an election promise, this is money in the bank, real money,” Minister Toole said.
“We’ve been investing in the region with projects like the Merimbula boardwalk renewal and we want to ensure these investments continue.”
Bega Valley Shire Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick said it’s fantastic news for the shire.
“These projects often come down to dollars, and now thanks to Paul and the Tourism Activation Fund these announcements are a great outcome for the Bega Valley Shire,” Mayor Fitzpatrick said.
The 2.7km boardwalk is reportedly the most utilised walking track in the Bega Valley Shire.
According to council, works on the boardwalk are expected to move ahead after approvals are gained in the next six month, and works are expected to be completed by 2025.
The $180 million Regional Tourism Activation Fund is part of the NSW Government’s $3.3 billion Regional Growth Fund, designed to support growing regional centres, activate local economies and improve services and community infrastructure for regional communities.
Images: Paul Toole – NSW Government, Bega Valley Shire Council