Dorset Council accept tender for Tin Dragon Interpretation Centre

Dorset Council has accepted a tender for the Tin Dragon Interpretation Centre at Derby

Mayor Greg Howard said a motion passed at a closed council session “a couple of months ago”. 

Cr Howard said he was unable to release any more information until the contract was signed. 

“I can’t release the details because we haven’t signed the contract and the people who have bought it don’t want the details released until the contract is signed,” he said.

“It’s with their lawyers at the moment. I can’t say if it will remain an interpretation centre.”

Cr Howard said all tenders received were from Tasmania. 

“We’re hoping to get it done as soon as possible so we can get things started,” he said. 

Cr Howard said there had been “a few hold ups”.

“We have to make a few things happen first. The whole site is declared a heritage site because at the moment it is all on the one title and that includes the old school house museum,” he said. 

“We would cut that off and keep that as the heritage site, because I think (the school is) genuinely the only heritage part of the site.”

Cr Howard said the council was losing about $200,000 a year before the centre was leased. 

“When we leased the cafe and the interpretation centre it cut out the majority of our losses,” he said. 

“It’s not the sort of business that we think we should be in and that’s why we put it up for sale.”

Cr Howard said he would like to see the site developed to cater for some of the things missing from Derby. 

“From a tourist point of view at the moment, Derby is missing some more upmarket accommodation,” he said. 

“What we found from the Enduro World Series was that a lot of the visitors are willing to pay for more expensive accommodation than is fully catered for.”

The centre was announced in 2004 and was planned to include a history trail which started in Launceston. It was meant to celebrate the Chinese influence of tin mining in the North-East. The trail was expected to cost about $3 million, however the other parts were never built.