Clare Valley Wine Food and Tourism Centre saw 23,000 visitors in 2016.
This statistic and so many more are behind its success and the support from Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council to extend a fixed annual grant for the next eight years, which has also extended the lease for the same period.
The Clare Valley Hutt Project has managed the facility since 2015 and comprises the Clare Valley Business and Tourism Association, Clare Valley Cuisine, Clare Valley Winemakers, Clare Valley Wine Grape Growers Association and the Visual and Performing Arts Association.
The Centre is the focal point into the region.
Both Mayor Allan Aughey OAM and Chair of the Clare Valley Hutt Project Mr David Cowperthwaite were pleased with the outcome of council’s deliberations at the April meeting.
“Tourism is an important and major industry in our region and having a passionate committee working hard to create the best possible opportunities for promotion and awareness of what the Clare Valley has to offer is of immeasurable value,” Mayor Aughey said.
“The recent socio-economic impact assessment by Hudson Howells has shown conclusively that tourism plays a major part in our prosperity.”
Selling local produce and products, including wine, the Centre is a popular destination in its own right and offers a range of information services including accommodation bookings.
It is also showcases regional art, has held photography and general exhibitions, as well as participating in South Australian Living Artists events.
Clare Valley cellar doors are showcased monthly at the Centre and the Winery of the Week event held each Friday night attracts between 60-100 patrons at each function.
Recognising the importance of a professionally managed Wine Food and Tourism Centre, Clare and Gilbert Valleys Councillors approved the request for a five-year extension of the lease of the council-owned building, as well as a further five-year funding agreement, at the conclusion of the current agreement.
A fixed annual grant of $200,000 per annum will secure the future of the project until 2025.