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VISITOR numbers at the new Bathurst Rail Museum have exceeded expectations, topping the 12,000 mark despite a 10-week closure due to COVID-19.
The museum has also caught the eye of the judges of the Leo Kelly OAM Arts and Culture Award, winning Bathurst Regional Council the Division B award for the second year running following last year's success with the RE-ORG project at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, and has been nominated for the 2020 Australian MAGNA (Museums and Galleries Association) and the M&GNSW Imagine Awards.
A report to councillors by cultural and community services director Alan Cattermole says the rail museum is already being "recognised as an exemplar across local government".
"Particularly popular is Kids Central, which has proven a favourite for the younger visitor and their families who have taken advantage of the museums annual membership and who return to the space regularly," Mr Cattermole states in the report.
"The retail side of the business is also exceeding projections with many of the unique branded merchandise selling well."
Mr Cattermole said creating the museum in the state heritage-listed Bathurst Railway Institute building had presented challenges for the architects and builders, but the "project has been identified as a best practice example of adaptive reuse of an historic building".
Bathurst Rail Museum opened on February 22 but just a month later the doors were shut due to COVID-19 restrictions. The museum reopened on June 5.
This article first appeared on www.westernadvocate.com.au
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