ST. STEPHEN (GNB) – Almost $1.15 million will be invested to restore a popular tourist attraction and gathering place in St. Stephen.

“Tourism is a key part of your government’s economic vision,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “The investment in the St. Stephen wharf restoration project will help increase tourism in St. Stephen and Charlotte County.”

The project involves the installation of new floating docks at the Lighthouse Town Wharf, an updated gangway and approach area, and an adjacent boat launch ramp. Along with additional lighting and improved signage, the upgrades are intended to improve safety for visitors.

“The Government of Canada is proud to invest in the restoration of St. Stephen’s iconic landmark,” said New Brunswick Southwest MP Karen Ludwig. “In addition to attracting new tourists to this picturesque location, the upgraded Lighthouse Town Wharf will also contribute to civic pride for local residents. We are proud to support projects like this that contribute to regional economic growth and the creation of well-paid middle-class jobs.”

Ludwig attended for federal Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi.

“These improvements will benefit not just St. Stephen and Charlotte County, but the province as whole,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames. “The restoration of St. Stephen’s wharf will give people another reason to visit our beautiful province.”

The restoration is expected to benefit local businesses by attracting more people to the downtown and will also preserve an important symbol of the community.

“St. Stephen is a vibrant community and the revitalization of our waterfront is essential to our continued growth and development,” said St. Stephen Mayor Allan MacEachern. “The St. Croix River is an historic river and an asset for citizens and tourists. This project will provide better access to the river and help us to grow this natural attraction.”

The tourism industry is an important job creator, employing more than 42,000 people in New Brunswick, and it contributes more than $520 million annually to the provincial GDP. For every public dollar invested in promoting New Brunswick as a tourism destination, there is a return of $3.19 to the province. The budget for the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture increased by 17.6 per cent this year. In addition, a capital investment of $75 million will be made over the next three years for upgrades to assets of cultural and historic significance.