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New chapter of ‘making’ in North-West Tasmania

The iconic Makers’ Workshop on Burnie’s waterfront is a step closer to becoming a technology and innovation hub.

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Modern making will be the focus of new learning, research, industry and community opportunities coming to Makers’ Workshop in 2023.

The University of Tasmania is transforming the site into a technology and innovation hub that will serve the entire North-West region.

Renamed The Makers, it will bring together the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA), Tech Solutions Hub, a new Business Incubator and a public demonstration space inside.

Professor Jim Cavaye, University Pro Vice-Chancellor (Cradle Coast) said it was exciting to see activity progressing, with the project soon going out for tender seeking a contractor to undertake the building refurbishment.

“The new Makers will focus on our region’s strengths in ‘making’ across technology, manufacturing, design, innovation, and food production,” Professor Cavaye said.

“TIA will undertake laboratory science on-site and develop agricultural technology that addresses industry challenges, while the Tech Solutions Hub will train people in technology, design and specialised manufacturing.

“Cradle Coast Authority will facilitate the Business Incubator to support local entrepreneurs, start-ups, and existing small businesses, while the demonstration space will host a vibrant program of public events.

"Being in the City of Makers, it has been important for the University to retain the ‘making’ tradition and we also wanted to increase local education and training opportunities for people of all ages.

“We look forward to welcoming the community back to enjoy a wonderful line-up of programmed activities once the building is fully operational in 2023.”

Artist impressions of the new Makers:

The next chapter of The Makers is being progressed with the oversight of Burnie City Council which remains the building’s owner.

When its tourism operations ceased on site last year, the University became the last remaining tenant in the space. Since then, it has been working closely with Council, stakeholders and industry to bring an exciting new future to life inside.

The previous artisan component will be progressed at Council’s new cultural centre, while community members can access a waterfront café inside the nearby campus building from February 2023.

Expressions of interest are expected to be advertised this calendar year. The next steps will be appointing a contractor and seeking a building permit from Council to commence the internal refurbishment. Subject to contractor availability, work is expected to begin in early 2023.

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