Twelve projects have been selected to receive their share of $100,000 as part of the Great Regional City Challenge.
With each project aiming to improve Launceston in one aspect or another, challenge president Owen Tilbury said organisers were enormously impressed with the vision and size of the projects that participated in the challenge.
"As we come out of the lock-down of COVID-19, there is an energy for the community to help jump-start the whole region - and government assistance packages should be available to fund some of these visionary larger projects," he said.
GRCC funding recipients:
- Greater Launceston - A UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy
- Surf City Project
- Australia's 1st ASV competition
- Community stage made from a shipping container for Harvest Market and other events
- Drive-in movie theatre and open air movie theatre in the Harvest Market car park
- Aboriginal Launceston: building on a resource rich site
- Launceston - a great cycling city
- Tamar River clean-up
- Lake Palawa - a fresh water idea
- An 'urban fringe trail' for Launceston
- Beautification of Launceston and surrounds
- Supporting, attracting and retaining health professionals in Northern Tasmania
For Adam Dickenson and his project aiming to install a world-class whitewater and river surfing setup, gaining the funding was a crucial step in the right direction.
"We're very excited - it's hard to get feasibility studies like this so this will help to take that critical step forward and we think things will be easier from this point onwards," he said.
The first phase for his Surf City Project is to commission an independent study into the economics and market demand for whitewater facilities in the state, with an emphasis on Northern Tasmania.
The project has earmarked several locations in the Launceston area and statewide, including the First Basin at Cataract Gorge.
"We want that report to show that if we build new facilities and if we want to increase water flows down Cataract Gorge that people will want to use them," Mr Dickenson said.
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The whitewater facility would need to be installed using a weir, making its ideal location under the suspension bridge or in a weir 200 metres upstream.
"We've had John Felton who's the designer of Olympic Whitewater courses visit this and other sites in the region and he said they're all suitable for the facility," Mr Dickenson said.
The transformation of the weir would be seamless to passers, according to Mr Dickenson.
"It's changing a square vertical weir into a concave ramp ... it's about a 15-30 degree ramp instead of a vertical drop," he said.
"We think the average person will notice very little difference walking around the First Basin, I don't even think people are aware the weirs even exist."
Mr Dickenson said the attraction would be great for spectators, which he said make up 98 per cent of people who venture to these facilities.
"We think a lot more people will be drawn to these sites to enjoy the spectacle," he said.
It would also be used for competitions, and for a freestyle kayaking competition.
Other possible locations include Lyons Park at Hadspen and the Mill Dam Reserve at Longford.