Work begins: restoration of former Vintage Village to Forbes Visitor Information Centre

The former Lachlan Vintage Village on the Newell Highway is being transformed to hold our Visitor Information Centre.
The former Lachlan Vintage Village on the Newell Highway is being transformed to hold our Visitor Information Centre.

Work to transform the former Lachlan Vintage Village into the home of Forbes' new visitor information centre has begun.

Anyone travelling in from the south on the Newell Highway would have seen the cement mixers and work vehicles on site this week, and Forbes Mayor Phyllis Miller says it's an exciting time.

"Council is very pleased to be able to re-establish this much loved site and capitalise on increased regional tourism we are experiencing," she said.

The work for the rejuvenation will be commencing across two stages.

Stage one consists of the repair and renovation of parts of the Trigalana Woolshed building to be later used as the Visitor Information Centre, and the widening and upgrading of the road access, car park and turning bay.

The refurbishment of the building will see the historical facade of the building and interiors restored.

The internal structure and layout will not change dramatically, but it will be modernised and adapted to match current visitor needs.

The adjacent road leading to the facility will be widened and upgraded to include safer access and drainage, a car park and turning bay for large vehicles and caravans.

"The internal fit out and external cladding and verandah works are to be completed by December with the Visitor Information Centre operating a short time afterwards," Mayor Miller said.

The road, including a one way turning lane from Oxford Street and carpark will be completed September 2021.

"Local contractors will be utilised where possible, contributing to the local economy," Mayor Miller said.

"This is key to us and we are doing everything we can to ensure local trades are being used for this work."

John Hearn at work as restoration and repair of the building begins.

John Hearn at work as restoration and repair of the building begins.

Stage two will involve completing further works to reopen the existing restaurant and further improvements to the site, however this stage is pending additional funds being secured.

This project is funded by the NSW Government Drought Stimulus Program for the building component and the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) Program for the road. The works will include refurbishments to the Northern end of the building, including visitor areas, office space, amenities plus improvements to the outdoor areas and landscaping.

"Council is looking forward to opening the Visitor Information Centre in this brand new location and to see the Lachlan Vintage Village restored to almost its former glory," Mayor Miller said.