It’s an exciting time for the Singleton community as we move towards a transformed and revitalised local government area. With major upgrades like the Town Centre Revitalisation and the Singleton Community Recycling Centre now complete and construction of other major projects imminent or under way, we can start to see how these expansions will begin to shape our future sustainability and business investment.
The recent downturn in mining activity and its impact on employment and population has been a timely reminder that Council and the business community need to look at ways to diversify and foster resilience in our economy. Singleton Council has adopted an Economic Development Strategy that provides a clear and concise framework for economic development activities identified as critical to the future economy of Singleton.
The Singleton Town Centre Revitalisation was one of these critical activities and was officially opened by Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen on Wednesday, 7 October 2015. The project was completed two months ahead of schedule and under budget. Council is proposing to use the remaining funds to revitalise the precinct around Pritchard Park, at the southern end of John Street.
As part of Council’s commitment to the John Street Revitalisation Project and with the festive season almost upon us, Council has approved a Christmas Decorations Rebate Program. The program encourages business owners along John Street to provide a vibrant and festive shopping environment in the lead up to Christmas and in support of the upcoming Christmas event “Christmas on John Street”.
Council has allocated $10,000 for the program and provides a maximum payment of $220 rebate per eligible business that participates. Application forms and guidelines are available online.
Council has adopted a policy for street dining and trading as part of the ongoing implementation of the Singleton Town Centre Master Plan. Footpath trading, including outdoor dining, has become increasingly popular with both traders and shopper’s alike, but requires approval under the Roads Act 1993. The policy focuses on ensuring safe access for pedestrians and shoppers ‚Äì including those with prams or wheelchairs ‚Äì while supporting the beautification work. Council has agreed to forgo revenue from the use of footpath space for commercial purposes for the first two years effective 31 July 2015, and I encourage business owners to consider the benefits of bringing the inside out. A small application fee will cover the costs associated with Council assessing the application.
Singleton’s local economy is at a critical point as the gradual growth of non-mining related businesses begin to materialise. How we develop and progress as a community in the next two to three years during this shifting movement, will determine the health of the Singleton economy for many years to come.
Image | John Street ‚Äì Town Centre Revitalisation Project