A HERITAGE tramway in Ballarat is viable and would give the city an economic boost, a new report says.
The report, which was completed in April and issued by the City of Ballarat this week, says a heritage tramway would create up to 81 long-term jobs and return up to $4 million extra in tourist spending in Ballarat each year.
But the service would come at the cost of carparking around the city, including spaces in Lydiard, Sturt and Doveton Sts.
The $70,000 Booz-Allen-Hamilton report follows the work of a 1998 engineering study and a 1999 financial study on the trams and pins Ballarat's hopes of a heritage tramway on winning a $20 million non-repayable grant from the state and/or federal governments.
If Ballarat got the grant, the service could be expected to return a $150,000 annual profit within two years, the report says.
The tramway would rely heavily on volunteer support, which would have to make up for six full-time positions.
But the service would provide up to 81 direct and indirect long-term jobs in the tramway and in the retail and accommodation sectors as well as another 400 direct and indirect jobs during construction.
The tramway would provide six direct paid jobs and three indirect jobs. It would lead to another 15 direct jobs and seven indirect jobs in the retail sector and between 20 and 50 direct jobs in the accommodation sector.
Construction, if the entire line was built over six months, would directly employ 160 people and create another 240 indirect jobs, the report says.
The tramway would help attract more tourists to Ballarat and make it more likely they would stay overnight.
All up, the report estimates a heritage tramway could lead to growth in annual tourist spending in Ballarat of between $1.5 million and $4 million.
But the tramway would also have negative impacts, particularly on parking.
Angle parking along Doveton St between Sturt and Mair streets would have to go, but could be replaced with parallel parking, and angle parking on the Sturt St centre island east of Lydiard St would be lost.
More car parks would be lost for a tram stop on the western side of Lydiard St, at Peel St, Market St, Steinfield St North and at the Llanberris netball stadium.
Properties at York St and Peake St would also have to be acquired to make room for the track.