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A $170,000 Tourism Infrastructure Fund grant and volunteer labour is being used to build a new visitor centre for Deep Cove.

The 12m by 7m building is being constructed at David Pope Builder’s yard by Gore master builders and Gore Host Lion’s Club volunteers for the Deep Cove Education Trust.

Deep Cove is at the head of Doubtful Sound and the trust oversees two hostels there.

Since 1974, many Southland and Otago year 7 and 8 school pupils have attended camps at the hostels.

Trust chairman Tom Clark said the visitor centre would provide new public toilets for the cove, and contain educational displays.

“It’s going to be a huge asset over there,” Mr Clark said.

New public toilets were needed because the current facilities were in the hostel, which was often used for school groups.

“With the number of people going in there, this facility wasn’t anything like good enough to cope with the numbers.”

Two toilets, two showers and a disability shower and toilet would be in the new building, which would be 50m down the road from one of the hostels.

The displays would give information about tourism in the area and a history of the site.

When the building is finished in late March it will be transported by truck to Lake Manapouri.

“It goes on a barge across Lake Manapouri.

“It will be quite a spectacular photo opportunity when it happens.”

Once across the lake, it will be driven to Deep Cove.

It would cost about $30,000 to shift the building to Deep Cove, but building the prefab in Gore was the best option.

“The sandflies are a lot more vicious over there.”

Many hours of volunteer time had gone into building the visitor centre, for which the trust was grateful.

Trust member Trudie Pope had been a great help co-ordinating the project, Mr Clark said.