PLANS to revitalise Warrnambool’s central business district have received a boost, with the state government announcing it will contribute $150,000 to the project.
Premier and member for South West Coast Denis Napthine was in Warrnambool on Saturday to announce the funding, which will combine with $90,000 from the city council to get the revamp’s planning process under way.
Dr Napthine said the $240,000 would be used to draw up the “improvement design guidelines” for Warrnambool City Renewal.
“This project is about revitalising our great city centre, making it a destination bursting with colour and life and a place we want to shop, eat and socialise,” he said.
“The guidelines for this renewal will be developed through a combination of community and stakeholder consultation to ensure our local residents and business owners have their say on how to improve the city heart.
“Expert advice will also be drawn on to ensure the best possible plan is drawn to make the CBD an attractive place to invest and set up business.
“The resulting blueprint will determine the future landscape and urban design improvements of the whole city centre, using Liebig Street as a demonstration of future city-wide changes.”
He told those who gathered for the announcement that the project would face “significant challenges”.
“There are a lot of different owners, with different aspirations and different ideals,” Dr Napthine said.
“It’s a large plan with large goals about what to do with the CBD to make it a better place for Warrnambool and the future.
“(The $240,000) will provide a blueprint that should look at what the different owners and different stakeholders need to make the CBD a more vital place not only for the locals, but also the visitors and tourists and people who come from up to 200 kilometres away to shop regularly.”
Mayor Michael Neoh thanked the government for the contribution and said he hoped that with a solid plan in place, the CBD would be able to attract businesses and shoppers to ensure “we don’t lose people to Geelong and Ballarat” and create a thriving CBD.
The funding follows $150,000 from the state government to help revitalise Warrnambool’s central laneways. The money comes from the $1 billion regional growth fund.