December 21st, 2022Full throttle ahead: bold new attraction for Daylesford
Words: Eve Lamb | Images: Kyle Barnes
WORK has begun to create a significant new attraction that’s projected to bring tens of thousands more visitors to Daylesford each year.
The man behind development of the new museum specialising in Australian history and Australiana is Mark Ward, already known to many through his multiple Amazing Mill Markets ventures including at Daylesford.
The entrepreneurial Mark, is in no doubt that the new Amazing Mill Markets Museum, now being developed on the same site as Daylesford’s Amazing Mill Market, will be the “biggest and best of its kind in Australia”, and that the flow-on economic benefits to the locality will be considerable.
“It’ll be without a doubt the best museum of its kind in Australia with beautiful cars, massive steam engines, and all aspects of Australian history including automotive, rural, industrial and commercial Australiana,” Mark says.
His personal passion for carnival, circus and sideshow memorabilia will ensure these aspects of the nation’s history and culture are also well represented in the new museum.
“The undercover area is just under a quarter acre in size and it will have a glass atrium down the centre,” Mark says.
“Building has already started. The total cost of the build and fit-out will be just over $2 million.
“The museum will have themed areas with high-tech lighting and 12 interactive screens to tell people about the items. The collection is valued in excess of $10 million and includes 23 magnificently restored cars.”
Work is scheduled for completion at the end of May 2023 with the interior fit-out then anticipated to take three months before the new attraction opens to the public later in the year.
“We anticipate opening in September-October,” Mark says.
“We’re creating a worthwhile destination for people to come to from all over Australia and overseas to spend several hours.
“Rest assured it will be the best of its type in Australia. This museum will bring millions of dollars to Daylesford every year. We are going to attract another 10,000 to 15,000 people into Daylesford per month.”
It’s not the only one of his projects that Mark is currently keenly watching take shape, with another exciting development set for Bendigo’s historic Flour Mill precinct, following the sale of the Amazing Mill Market at Ballarat.
“We have sold the Mill Market at Ballarat but we will be opening another one at the Flour Mill site in Bendigo,” Mark says.
“It will also include specialty shops and five-storey accommodation at the Bendigo Flour Mill precinct. The Bendigo Flour Mill is an historic building and we will be retaining as much of the infrastructure as possible.”
The $24 million Bendigo Flour Mill precinct development will be staged over five years and will also include a small museum, bar and bistro on site, Mark says.