THE progress of the new Tamworth hockey centre has renewed Tamworth mayor Col Murray's faith in attaining funding for the council's proposed $67 million aquatic centre.
In November, the council endorsed an $80,000 budget for a "leisure planner" to advise on the design of the project.
Cr Murray said the design of the project was coming along and was "at the top of council's list".
"We believe the business model really stands up and we are committed to doing whatever we need to do to acquire funding from both the state and federal governments," he said.
"Now we are working hard to really hone in on what the cost estimates for this project are.
"The government expects that and so it is really important we do that well, so we can begin seeking funding in about a year or so."
In November, the council released and sought feedback on its draft Bicentennial Park masterplan, which outlined the council's plan to eventually decommission the city pool in favour of an outdoor dining and events space.
"The important thing to remember is this centre is not just for swimming," Cr Murray said.
"It's a complete leisure centre, which will offer a variety of different facilities to the community.
"So, it's not just about what kinds of events the centre could attract swimming-wise, but also the permanent things in place at the centre, which will contribute to the economy."
Cr Murray said the proposed centre had drawn opposition from sections of the community.
"I understand not everyone in the community is a swimmer and is going to be in favour of this facility," he said.
"Notwithstanding, the early designs for this project were dictated to us by the community, so we are really just trying to create their vision.
"I think the success of the other sports that have been relocated out near the sports dome and the centre of excellence, such as the new hockey centre, are proof this is a good plan and will be good for our community."