A comprehensive plan to lift the profile and freshen-up The Entrance to attract visitors all year round and boost the local economy is now out for community consultation.
This is the second phase of The Entrance Place Plan, which has been updated to take in ideas and projects brought forward by the public in the initial consultation in July 2020.
The draft Place Plan looks at The Entrance Town Centre in detail under five precincts: the town centre, the waterfront plaza, Memorial Park, coastal walk 1 and coastal walk 2.
Coastal walk 1 links the plaza along the lake to Picnic Point west of the town centre, and coastal walk 2 links Memorial Park with The Entrance Beach and the surf life saving club.
The Entrance Place Plan doesn’t relate to the channel or the lake, as the State Government has appointed a special taskforce to look at those areas.
Central Coast Council commissioned Artscape at Tuggerah to prepare the Place Plan with the purpose to move The Entrance from decline into a new start-up stage and create a framework for new growth.
The Place Plan sets out short-term initiatives which will provide benefits more quickly, with some changes expected to be seen throughout 2021, while medium and longer term goals will take place over coming years.
Community feedback from the first phase of consultation sent key messages: to focus on the locals; keep The Entrance well maintained and as a safe, accessible place; connect with the natural environment; bring art and culture into the everyday; lift the profile and quality of what’s on offer in the town; activate the night life; and, promote the “top end” of town.
The Place Plan sets a diverse and detailed range of goals, from quick, small scale and do-able projects through to significant infrastructure projects, with the aim of accessibility, to enliven the town with entertainment and recreation as the go-to destination on the Coast, and boost the local economy.
It’s a long list of goals and ideas, too long to go into here, but just a few are: to investigate a shuttle bus service into the town centre from outlying neighbourhoods; smarten-up the cleanliness and quick removal of graffiti; revamp lighting for safety as well as creative light installations; revitalise murals, public art and signage; introduce an arts and culture scene; focus on natural environment attractions to build on the iconic pelican feeding; and, step-up the night time economy with family friendly events in the plaza and park while developing the top end of town into a sophisticated dining and entertainment precinct.
On the business front, the Place Plan talks about a concentrated marketing program, a Spend Local campaign and a Business Kick Start project.
The Place Plan framework identifies “anchor” points in the town centre and how best to connect the various precincts, each with their distinct character, but to create a greater whole.
The Artscape report says that the primary goal is not for the precincts to compete with each other but historically there have been concerns that waterfront activities have not “travelled” up the main street for the added benefit of businesses there.
The report says that waterfront activities have been successful, however, the “top end” of town and the main street need their own approach, independent to the waterfront, and with their own personality to “bookend” the waterfront activities.