Clyde community wins big through the Tourism Infrastructure Fund

Clyde community wins big through the Tourism Infrastructure Fund

 The Clyde community has had a big win through the Tourism Infrastructure Fund (TIF), with the announcement in December of $365,000 in TIF funding for a much needed upgrade the Clyde river carpark and access. This announcement comes on top of a further $247,500 in TIF funding announced in June, for new toilets in Clyde's town centre and in the river area.

The funds will be used as part of wider works to upgrade Clyde's Heritage Precinct streetscape. This upgrade aims to relieve growth pressures with improved parking and facilities creating better connections between Clyde’s river and town centre. There will be carpark and safety upgrades, improved play spaces and installation of outdoor furniture and barbecues at the river area, making the area an attractive place to enjoy the river and spend time.

Clyde, like many small towns throughout Central Otago and the lower South Island, is feeling the pressure of increasing tourist numbers.

On one hand Clyde is experiencing the benefits of increases in tourism, traffic, business activity and job growth. However, on the other hand the same growth, particularly growth in visitor numbers, is creating pressure on the town’s Historic Precinct in terms of access, traffic management, car parking, public toilets and public spaces.

It is no surprise that Clyde has become one of the most popular destinations in Central Otago. It has a rich heritage, spectacular scenery and is the beginning (or end) of the hugely successful Otago Central Rail Trail.

The trail already attracts large numbers of riders - approximately 15,000 people a year cycle the whole trail and 80,000 riders use the trail for short rides or commuting. These numbers are predicted to increase with the opening of the Bannockburn to Clyde Trail, which is currently under construction. The new trail will terminate close to the river front area.

Rationale worked closely with Central Otago District Council to develop an Indicative Business Case looking at upgrades to Clyde’s Historic Precinct. This was to ensure the town could continue to offer a great experience to visitors and residents alike, while being able to absorb increasing levels of growth in the years to come.

Throughout the process Rationale managed and integrated a diverse team of specialists, facilitated community engagement meetings and drafted the business case and successful TIF funding applications to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

Initially, funding was not available for the solutions proposed; however, when the government announced the Tourism Infrastructure Fund, CODC was able to quickly mobilise and use the work done in the Business Case as evidence to back up their TIF funding applications.

The business case was developed with the community at its core, using the results of previous community engagement and bringing together a wide range of local stakeholders with a diverse set of views to help guide the project.

By ensuring there was a diverse set of views at the table, the result was something that the whole community could buy into. It was this focus on community engagement and a structured business case approach that has seen the success through the TIF process.

Rationale Infrastructure Advisor, Emily Gualter was pleased to see CODC successfully gain TIF funding, seeing it as a great result for the local community and CODC at large.

“Clyde, like a number of small towns in Central Otago, is under quite a lot of strain due to increasing visitor numbers, and while CODC recognised the need for investment, it wasn’t able to immediately fund the work required. That we could use the results of community engagement and the business case approach to help them secure central government funding is outstanding. It’s really satisfying to know that the work we’ve done has helped out Clyde’s small local community.”