Arts-based tourism in Forbes has been promised an almost $450,000 boost over the next three years with Evolution Cowal Gold Mine backing Grazing Down the Lachlan and the sculpture trail.
The partnership will significantly speed up the Somewhere Down The Lachlan sculpture trail, forming a major tourism attraction, Forbes Art Society president Keith Mullette said.
Evolution’s Cowal gold mine Manager for Sustainability Jamie Coad said the mine would support the development of Wiradjuri and monumental sculpture on the trail and become the platinum sponsor for Grazing Down the Lachlan, the hugely successful food event held for the first time this year.
“It is important to the company that this project continues to benefit the community beyond the life of the mine and will leave a long lasting economic and cultural boost for the peoples of Forbes and other towns of the region,” Mr Coad said.
“Money and services will be provided over three financial years approaching a total value of $450,000.”
Dr Mullette said the Shared Values Partnership between the organisations would be an enormous boost to the Art Society’s mission to “develop the visual arts and in particular the Somewhere Down the Lachlan Sculpture Trail and Sculpture around town so that tourism will become a major product of the Forbes Shire and the Central West NSW.”
“The target markets for the project include the caravan and camping market and travellers on the Newell Highway, as well as arts and culture and food based tourism,” he said.
The Somewhere Down the Lachlan sculpture project was birthed in 2014 and a volunteer community effort to build the giant red letters of “amazing” quickly followed.
After the location was flooded in 2016, the letters were installed on the stock route last summer.
The project’s patrons are Governor of NSW, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retired), and his wife Linda who visited Forbes for the official handover of “amazing” to the community.
September this year saw the first Grazing Down the Lachlan, the gourmet food event designed to promote local produce while raising funds for the long-term maintenance and expansion of the Somewhere Down The Lachlan Sculpture Trail.
Some 700 people attended the first event, on the banks of the Lachlan River ending at the “amazing” installation.
The trail will start at the Wiradjuri Dreaming Centre on Lake Forbes, which is to be redeveloped.
Dreams come true with trail to start at Wiradjuri Dreaming Centre