Council has engaged Renew Australia to conduct a scoping study to determine the feasibility of an urban renewal program in Maitland.
Renew Australia works with communities and property owners to take otherwise empty shops, offices, and commercial and public buildings and make them available on a short-term basis for use by artists, creative projects and community initiatives.
Council’s City Economy Officer, Andrew Brown said the focus of the program is Central Maitland, but other sites throughout the city will be assessed as part of the scoping study.
“We are going to be working with Renew Australia and with other key stakeholders to assess the viability of the Renew model in Maitland,” Andrew said.
A feasible program would aim to reduce vacant tenancies, increase the diversity of goods and services in Maitland, and stimulate business activity and entrepreneurship. The program would also draw key stakeholders together to create an initiative that will help contribute to the revitalisation of Central Maitland and the establishment of The Levee as the city’s premier lifestyle precinct.
Renew Australia’s Manager, Angela Simons said the survey will be delivered over the coming months.
“Renew Australia will review opportunities to activate vacant properties with creative enterprises in Maitland. Following a detailed site audit of vacancies, Renew Australia will begin discussions with property owners and agents, and the local creative community to test the viability of a pilot project and prepare a roll out plan should it be feasible,” Angela said.
At the conclusion of the scoping study and dependent on the outcome, it will be Council’s and Renew Australia’s aim to have commitment from property owners to license their properties for Renew Maitland. Provided there is enough interest in the program and it is financially viable, Council will make a formal public announcement and call for Expressions of Interest from the local community.
Renew Australia will be in Maitland from Tuesday 9 May to Thursday 11 May 2017 to commence scoping suitable
For more about the scoping study, or if property owners and creatives wish to contribute ideas, contact Council.
IMAGE | Council’s Manager of Marketing and Communications, Rachel MacLucas; Renew Initiatives Australia’s Angela Simons; Council’s City Economy Officer, Andrew Brown; Renew Initiatives Australia’s Ainsley Milton.