Lachlan Vintage Village to become visitor information centre

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Upper House MP Sam Farraway with a delighted Forbes Mayor Phyllis Miller at the former Lachlan Vintage Village.
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Upper House MP Sam Farraway with a delighted Forbes Mayor Phyllis Miller at the former Lachlan Vintage Village.

The former Lachlan Vintage Village will become Forbes' new visitor information centre with funding for the first stage of the transformation announced Wednesday.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro announced Forbes Shire Council would receive $450,000 from the Drought Stimulus Package to give the iconic building on the Newell Highway south of Forbes a new life.

Development will retain the historic buildings of the former tourist attraction, opened by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1975.

Mayor Phyllis Miller says the council is really excited to be able to bring the former Village back and repurpose it.

"There are lots of opportunities with it," Mayor Phyllis Miller said.

"Bringing it back to life is really important.

"I've had very positive feedback from the community - everyone in town loves that building, everyone has a connection to it because of what it used to be."

General Manager Steve Loane said the work would be staged, starting with a road and a carpark as well as improvements to the building.

The vision incorporates a restaurant and function centre.

"It's a very large space that we have to find a venture partner to go in there with us so they can operate it seven days a week as well," he said.

The Lachlan Vintage Village, formally closed to the public in 2004, sits on 80 hectares and was purchased by the council in 2017.

It is one of eight local projects to receive NSW Government funding totalling $900,000 announced by Mr Barilaro and Upper House MP Sam Farraway.

There is also $200,000 for improvements to the historic Town Hall including a kitchen, bar and bathroom upgrades.

It will fund upgrades to lighting, floors, gutters, heating and installation for the 1891 building.

"The funding also includes, $80,000 which will go towards shade sails at the Forbes Central West Livestock Exchange, improving the welfare of the 1.4 million sheep who are traded at the Exchange annually," Mr Farraway said.

"Bedgerabong Recreation Grounds will also get an upgrade in order to improve safety for both jockeys and horses participating in the Bedgerabong Picnic Races, and create a modern, safe and attractive multipurpose facility that can support a diverse range of events and that is easily accessible by all members of the community."

Turn to page 8 for a list of the rest of the projects that received funding.