The town that calls itself "the birthplace of hockey" received a major contribution to its campaign to build a hockey centre.

The Nova Scotia government announced Saturday it will fund up to $3 million for the construction of the Windsor Hockey Heritage Centre.

The centre will bring people to Windsor for the sport, said NHL hockey great Guy Lafleur, who was at the outdoor rink on Long Pond Saturday.

"It's going to encourage a lot of youth in pursuing their career," Lafleur said.

"What's important is that kids play hockey. Kids dream of playing in the NHL. That's the story of hockey."

Guy Lafleur

Hockey great Guy Lafleur attended Saturday's announcement. (Stephanie Blanchet/Radio-Canada)

McNeil announced the funding at Windsor's Long Pond Heritage Classic game.

​"The hockey heritage centre will re-affirm Nova Scotia's longstanding connection with hockey," McNeil said in a news release issued Saturday afternoon. 

The project, pitched by the Long Pond Hockey Arena Society, already has financial commitments and in-kind support from the Town of Windsor, the Municipality of West Hants, King's Edgehill School, a private facility in Windsor.

The building will include an ice rink, sports fields, an indoor track and a museum, the release said.

Windsor Hockey Heritage Centre artistic rendering

The Windsor Hockey Heritage Centre will be near Long Pond, as shown in this artist's rendering. (Submitted by Long Pond Hockey Arena Society)

indsor Hockey Heritage Centre artistic rendering

The new centre will have a museum and an indoor track. (Submitted by Long Pond Hockey Arena Society )

With files from Stephanie Blanchet