The former Civic Station will be transformed into the City’s Visitor Information Centre for both local and international visitors.
City of Newcastle will take possession of the former railway station following the NSW Government’s project to open and beautify the area between Hunter Street and Newcastle Museum.
The building will then be remodelled into a fit-for-purpose Visitor Information Centre, where tourists can access the latest information from expert staff, as well as tourist maps, brochures, event details and souvenirs.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said a modern fit-out and innovative technologies will create a dynamic, contemporary destination for visitors in the heart of the city.
“Tourism is a vital part of the Hunter region, contributing more than $900 million annually to the local economy,” the Lord Mayor said.
“The new Visitor Information Centre will provide a purpose-designed space to enhance the city’s tourism experience and ensure visitors discover the best of what the wider Newcastle region has to offer.
“The Centre’s design will maintain the rail heritage and character of the site while being reimagined with a focus on customer experience and smart technologies, complementing the old with the new to reflect a contemporary Newcastle.
“The Visitor Information Centre is ideally located to offer a direct link to the light rail, close connections to the harbour and Civic Park and easy access for guests staying in city centre accommodation including Newcastle’s first five-star hotel The Kingsley,” she said.
The new Centre is just one initiative under the City’s commitment to growing the visitor economy. City of Newcastle has created a dedicated tourism team responsible for management of the ‘Newcastle’ brand, with staff specialising in destination marketing and attracting business events.
The Centre is set to open early next year and will replace The Newcastle Shop at Newcastle Museum, which was trialled as a pop-up retail and information space in November 2017 and became an accredited Visitor Information Centre in September last year, attracting an average of 6,500 visits each month.
The vacated space at the Museum will be repurposed as a permanent education and programming room.