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Thursday 22 March 2018

Major Tasmanian tourism development planned by cheese producer

Ashgrove Cheese plans to create a major food-tourism drawcard at Elizabeth Town in northern Tasmania after securing a Regional Jobs and Investment Packages grant from Canberra.

The business received $565,000 and will invest $620,000 to construct and fit out a $1.19 million state-of-the-art "dairy door" and visitor complex.

Ashgrove's Project Manager, Anne Bennett, told The Burnie Advocate that the proposed visitor complex would help the dairy producer to capitalise on its position on the Cradle To Coast Tasting Trail, one of a number of wine and food trails on the Apple Isle.

“[The grant] enables Ashgrove to really bring forward a flagship project that we’ve had on the cards for two years," she said. "It will develop the Ashgrove Cheese shop into an iconic northern Tasmanian tourist destination.”

The new centre will almost double the footprint of the existing shop and factory with experiential, retail, food and outdoor areas linked directly to the farm.

“We are going to bring the farm alive inside the building, using technology like virtual reality, augmented reality and cow tracking,” Bennett said.

Company chairman Paul Bennett said: “The planning has already started. We’ve drawn up plans and will be underway as soon as council and government criteria have been met.”

The project will create an estimated 40 construction jobs and add 14 full-time equivalent roles to Ashgrove's operations once complete.

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