The iconic Slim Dusty Centre, which has had its doors closed due to coronavirus for more than six months, is set to welcome visitors back in an early Christmas present to the community.
Temporarily under the management of Kempsey Shire Council, the Centre will reopen to the public on Friday 18 December 2020, for an initial six-month period.
When the centre reopens, it will offer accredited visitor information services, a range of art exhibitions, a retail shop with both Slim Dusty and other local and specialised products, a café and most importantly the Slim Dusty Museum.
Council will operate the centre for six months in partnership with the Slim Dusty Foundation while preparing a detailed business case, including operating model and business plan, with ownership of the centre potentially set to transfer to council.
Council’s Director Corporate & Commercial, Stephen Mitchell, said that the opening represented another triumphant milestone in a difficult year.
“Slim Dusty is one of Kempsey’s favourite sons and Council has worked through significant planning and negotiations to reopen the doors in time for Christmas,” said Mr Mitchell.
“While closing was an unavoidable consequence of coronavirus, reopening the centre for both tourists and locals marks a great end to a challenging year for us all.”
“Our staff have worked tirelessly with the team at the centre in recent weeks to get the building ready and introduce the new offerings to ensure the best visitor experience.”
Volunteers will continue to play a vital role in day to day operations, especially as the Kempsey Visitor Information Centre has relocated to the centre from South Kempsey and will be operational from the opening day.
During the interim operating period, the centre will be open from 10am-4pm Tuesday to Sunday, with the café open from 10am-2pm. The centre will be closed on public holidays, and from Friday 25-Monday 28 December inclusive for Christmas.