Plans unveiled for attraction

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Gibson Group senior producer-visitor experiences Brett Tompkins presents some concept designs for Awarua Development Ltd's Bluff Oyster World development at a presentation in Bluff on Saturday, May 20. Photo: Janette Gellatly

PLANS for Bluff Oyster World are taking shape, with concept designs for the port town oyster/seafood-based attraction presented to potential investors and other interested parties in Bluff on Saturday, May 20.

The project is being managed by Awarua Development Ltd.

Chairwoman Aimee Kaio said about 120 people attended the presentation, including representatives from the Southland Regional Development Strategy (SoRDS), potential investors, Bluff Community Board, Ngai Tahu Tourism, Ngai Tahu Seafood and the Invercargill City and Gore District councils.

The presentation had been well received by those present, she said.

Wellington-based screen and visitor experience production company Gibson Group had been commissioned to develop the concept design and undertake a feasibility study for Bluff Oyster World in partnership with Awarua Development Ltd.

The concept for Bluff Oyster World was an oyster-themed museum and restaurant with an education/function area, retail space selling tourism products and fresh local produce and a hub for other tourism operators, she said.

The presentation was designed to update the wider community about the group’s progress as, if the project was found to be feasible, the group would need investment and support to make it a reality, she said.

The feasibility study was expected to be completed by June 30, and Ms Kaio said early indications suggested it was looking positive.

Several sites were being considered for the development. Ideally, it would be located near the water or in the harbour, but the infrastructure required for those sites would be costly, she said.

The confirmed location for the development is expected to be announced within the next couple of weeks.

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