ZOOMING AHEAD: Leyburn Sprints to get even bigger under new Southern Downs Regional Council plan to grow tourism in the Southern Downs.
ZOOMING AHEAD: Leyburn Sprints to get even bigger under new Southern Downs Regional Council plan to grow tourism in the Southern Downs. Jonno Colfs

Event to get 'even bigger' in bid to boost regional tourism

ALMOST $100 million is generated from tourism across the Southern Downs each year but that could increase under initiatives rolled out as a result of the new Shaping Southern Downs plan.

Enhancing the Morgan Park precinct and aiming to have events every week are key strategies outlined for the central part of the Southern Downs in the new document adopted by Southern Downs councillors at a meeting last week.

The plan also proposes to have more tourist events in the western part of the region and grow the Historic Leyburn Sprints.

While residents in this area supported the idea of growth, they said better facilities were needed.

Leyburn Post Office owner Franky Horton said amenities like public toilets and rubbish facilities were overrun in peak tourist periods like the Sprints, which attracted between 7000 and 8000 visitors to Leyburn in August.

"It would be good for it to grow even more, but it would have to be developed properly with more facilities like toilet blocks and fittings for people that camp here," Mrs Horton said.

In the past six years, Mrs Horton has noticed the town growing gradually, with more houses and newcomers to the town.

"A lot of people have moved from Brisbane or the Gold Coast to move away from the city," she said.



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