ASTRONOMERS in Tamworth are "over the moon" with the progress of the new space and science centre.
Member for New England Barnaby Joyce visited the Victoria Park site on Wednesday to announce more than $400,000 in federal funding to push the project over the line.
"What an incredible attribute to Tamworth, to have the capacity for people to come up here and see a tiny section of the massive universe we are," Mr Joyce said.
"When you think about COVID and people trying to make sure they have something to occupy their mind, to make them think outside the box, and you can't get any better than astronomy."
The main hub of the Tamworth Regional Astronomy and Science Centre is on track to be completed before the end of the year.
The funding will pay for two additional buildings - the Hewitt Observatory and Planetarium.
Although the finished product is what most are counting down to, Mr Joyce said building the complex had benefitted the city, since work began in April.
"The centre's construction is not only providing jobs and driving money back into our local economy at a time when we need it most, it will also deliver an impressive astronomy and science centre the community can feel proud of for years to come," he said.
Tamworth Regional Astronomy Club vice president Garry Copper said the group was "over the moon, maybe over the galaxy" with the progress.
"This [funding] gets us the last two buildings down here and that completely finishes off the complex, so we're really anticipating moving some things in here, we've got some magnificent telescopes and radio astronomy gear and ... it will really put Tamworth on the map," Mr Copper said.
The observatory will feature a roll off roof and will house a massive Hewitt Camera, one of only two in the entire world.
The planetarium is designed to entertain and educate, and will feature a round, rotating dome.
Videos could be projected onto the inner dome, or it can be changed to fit a large telescope for viewing sessions.
The project has cost more than $1.8 million, including contributions from state and federal governments, Tamworth Regional Council and the local astronomy club.