Plans for cultural, art Museum to boost local tourism numbers

TALKS are ramping up about establishing a 'town museum' in a landmark heritage building at the Cooma Monaro Railway.

A large number of local community groups have expressed an interest in collaborating with the Railway on being part of a museum.

One of those is Cooma-Monaro Shire Council which is keen to relocate its sporting hall of fame to a more prominent location at the Railway.

At the moment it is just an idea, but the Railway's president Rodney Clancy is keen to see it become a reality.

The possibilities are limitless according to Mr Clancy who said the museum could house displays on agriculture, local indigenous culture, art and of course displays on the history of the Railway.

"It has all sorts of potential," Mr Clancy said.

If it were to go ahead, it would make the Railway, already regarded as one of Cooma's major tourism attractions, a hive of tourism activity. This could bring economic benefits to the whole town Mr Clancy said.

What shape the museum would take and how it would be presented is not yet known. There are considerations such as purchasing display cabinets, hiring a curator, covering insurances and an online presence with a website. All of these would be dependent on funding.

"If we are going to do it we have to set it up really well, and that will take time and money," Mr Clancy said.

"We need money to make sure it is going to work"

However, Mr Clancy said it was very achievable, with the space available and ready to go.

"The idea has got support," he said.

"While ever I am president of the Cooma Monaro Railway my ambition is to increase the number of visitors to the railway and the town. If that means hosting other attractions and activities that's what we will do."

With the council already interested in housing its sporting hall of fame at the Railway, it is a positive start.

Mayor Dean Lynch said the sporting halls of fame were a major tourism draw card in other towns, and he was keen to see it flourish in Cooma too.

Cr Lynch said councillors would be reviewing a host of its activities including tourism operations over the coming weeks, and looking at potentially moving the hall of fame as part of that.

He said this would likely include looking at the possibility of establishing a volunteer group, or 'Friends of the visitors centre' that would help run various activities at the Railway.

If you would like to become involved in this project or anything at the Cooma Monaro Railway Inc. and its activities please visit www.cmrailway.org.au, phone 6452 7791 or visit the Railway at Bradley Street.

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