A state-of-the-art rowing precinct will be developed on the banks of the Tamar River in a $3 million investment by government and industry.
Rowing Tasmania has been working with the state government, the City of Launceston council and other key stakeholders to develop plans for the precinct, which were revealed on Thursday.
A new rowing shed will be developed on the banks of the river, to sit between the existing North Esk Rowing Club and the Silo Hotel.
The shed will have tenancies to house Rowing Tasmania, the Tasmanian Institute of Sport and the existing clubs.
The Tasmanian Institute of Sport and the newly announced expansion of the Tasmania University Boat Club have already signed on to lease tenancies at the site.
Rowing Tasmania executive officer Rob Prescott said other schools with rowing clubs, such as Launceston Church Grammar School, Scotch Oakburn and St Patrick’s College have all been approached to have tenancies at the site.
The state government has committed $25,000 to the redevelopment, with funds coming from existing surplus.
Treasurer Peter Gutwein said the funds would open up the site even further, for it to become a fantastic new part of the city.
“In Northern Tasmania we have just under 1000 people who row and Rowing Tasmania came to us with the proposal to create a strategic home for rowing in the North,” he said.
Mr Gutwein said completion of the precinct would add to the vibrancy of the area, with the construction of the Silo Hotel, the completion of the Seaport pedestrian bridge and the development of Riverbend Park, which is underway.
He said the clean-up of the Tamar River, pledged in the Launceston City Deal, would only add to the experience.
Plans for the redevelopment are being completed by Launceston architect firm Cumulus Studio.
Mr Prescott said it was important for Rowing Tasmania to use a local architect.
Rowing has a proud history in the North and the new precinct will allow clubs to all be housed together, alongside the Tasmanian Institute of Sport.
Mr Prescott said it would also dovetail in with the new University of Tasmania campus, which plans to have a new sport science faculty based in the North.
“It just means all the rowers will have access to coaches and technology they didn’t have before,” he said.
The Tamar River is an ideal training ground for rowers because it is long and flat. Mr Prescott said Launceston also made sense to be the home of rowing in Tasmania because of its central location to Lake Barrington.
“You get, an hour-and-a-half away, access to one of the best natural courses in Australia,” he said.
Lake Barrington was the location for all rowing activities for the recent Masters Games.
The master plan is expected to be completed by October. The council has also pledged $5000 for the project.