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Hanmer Springs . . . The alpine town has been given a a $3.1 million funding boost to support the visitor industry. Photo: File

By Robyn Bristow

The tourist market at Hanmer Springs has been given a $3.1 million boost.

The Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced the Government’s investment in the town late Friday afternoon.

The lion’s share of the amount will go toward a Fly-line on Conical Hill, with $2 million coming from infrastructure funding and $123,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).

An investigation into a luxury day spa on the former Queen Mary Hospital site, and the provision of a new area of hot pools and a new hydro slide, receives $997,000 from the PGF.

The projects are predicted to create up to 55 new jobs (inclusive of part-time jobs).

Mr Tabuteau said the funding boost is aimed at reducing the impact of the lack of international tourists visiting the tourist hot spot due to Covid-19.

The Fly-Line, is like a Flying-Fox without the risk, where riders will be able to glide through the forest, safely suspended in a comfortable seat under a supporting carriage that runs virtually silent on a stainless-steel track.

“A short construction time for the project means the Fly-Line could be up and running by the start of spring 2021,” he said.

Mr Fletcher says the Fly-Line will create up to 25 new jobs and will generate $4 million of economic benefit to the region over the first five years of its operation.

The PGF funded Thermal Pools and Spa expansion project involves investigating the construction of a luxury day spa on the site of the former Queen Mary Hospital, the provision of a new area of hot pools and a new hydro-slide.

Over half a million people visit Hanmer Springs every year, so with the Fly-Line, and thermal pools and day spa, the anticipated increase in visitors to this already popular alpine village, will make a huge difference to the local economy,” said Mr Tabuteau.

The funds will be invested with the Hurunui District Council.