Workshop ideas to create bustling and vibrant town centres

Movers and shakers in the business and commercial sector will workshop ideas to create bustling and vibrant town centres through the turnaround of lost opportunities from empty spaces.

A special interactive presentation on Wednesday, April 21, will show how a Newcastle model can also be applied to revitalise town centres across the Coast and attract more visitors.

One project is already underway at Long Jetty as part of the inaugural Blank Canvas program, which throughout April is showcasing works from leading makers and creators at the pop-up retail space at 314 The Entrance Rd.

To build on that initiative, Central Coast Council has partnered with Renew Australia to connect local creatives and social entrepreneurs with commercial property owners to temporarily fill empty spaces and boost a town centre’s vibrancy and cultural vitality.

Guest speaker, Christopher Saunders, former Renew Newcastle General Manager and social change initiator, will demonstrate how property owners can benefit from having temporary tenants to assist in maintenance, decrease vandalism and bolster property values.

The Renew Newcastle Model connected creatives and social entrepreneurs with owners of empty commercial spaces, which transformed the Newcastle CBD.

Saunders will show how short term activation can provide creative businesses and start-ups with opportunities to establish themselves at minimal cost, how to make town centres work for people using creativity not capital, and how low cost participatory initiatives can drive cultural tourism.

There will also be an exhibition of Renew in a Box which is a pop-up visual exhibition of large scale box installations containing information and imagery which can transform an empty space.

Registrations for the event, to be held in Gosford, can be made through Central Coast Council.

Sue Murray

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