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Tasmania's Port Arthur to receive federal funding

Port Arthur, an historical site in Tasmania, is set to receive federal funding that will see an increase in the amount of plays staged at the venue.

With these improvements made to showcasing important history, it's expected that there will be an uplift in the amount of visitors, as such there will also be modifications to visitor centre facilities, reports ABC Online.

An amount of $200,000 (£106,252) is being used just to create a plan concerning the extension of the visitor centre on the site. Tourism Productions, a local theatre group will be receiving $36,000, which will go towards the shows that the production company performs at Port Arthur.

A further $12,000 will be given to the Tasmanian Council for it to identify different development opportunities in the region.

Stephen Large, Port Arthur Historic Site chief executive, said: "The current building won't accommodate the number of people we've got here. There's long queues, both to get in through our ticketing area and also to get food, beverages and coffee."

With money being spent on theatre production, this means there will be more investment spend on plays at the site. This is important because there have been shows up to four times a day at Port Arthur since last December.

Rob Rolfe, Tourism Productions business manager, commented: "It's a wonderful example of where cultural tourism, in terms of theatrical interpretation at a site like this, actually benefits the community."

He added that having theatre at Port Arthur has "brought the place to life" as it gives another dimension to tourism in the area.

Although the state government is pleased to be funding Port Arthur, there aren't any plans for it to use any of the money to improve the accessibility of the area.

The body managing the Port Arthur Historic Site has said that it would like to do the same for the Darlington convict settlement site on Maria Island, which is currently under the care of the Parks and Wildlife Service.

Mr Large believes that by taking over, the Port Arthur site would be able to add much more value to Darlington and so far, the state government is in accordance with its wishes.

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