With a planning process 10 years in the making, today marks the official opening of the Hunter Valley Research Foundation's (HVRF) newly refurbished Maryville Research Centre.
Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, The Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon, will officiate at the opening ceremony unveilling a plaque and planting a tree.
HVRF Chairman Professor Eileen Doyle said the Foundation Board and management had been working towards this day since 2004, when the need for an infrastructure upgrade at the ageing research centre was first identified.
“We are very grateful to our Building Fund donors and to the Australian Government, for recognising the significant contribution made by the Foundation and providing the funding required for us to complete Stage Two of our essential upgrade,” Eileen said.
“Our modern research centre will safeguard existing jobs at the HVRF, and enhance its ability to attract quality staff.”
“It will ensure that the HVRF is able to continue to provide the excellent information and analysis that has helped to guide the Hunter's development since 1956.”
The $1 million HVRF upgrade project wasmade possible by a $698,000 funding grant from the Australian Government's Regional Development Australia Fund with the remaining funds donated by individuals and organisations.
In Stage One of its upgrade, a $700,000 modern extension to the administration building (the Macquarie Building) was completed in 2007, with the assistance of a $50,000 grant from the NSW Government, through the Department of Trade and Investment.
Stage Two involved expanding the capacity of the Macquarie Building to accommodate the
HVRF's survey and data collection facility, improve access to its publicly accessible library and enable technological upgrades.
The Hunter Valley Research Foundation is Australia’s longest serving independent, not-for-profit, regional research organisation.