Plans to bring the new CBD cultural and civic space to life are moving forward quickly so Council has launched an online portal to keep the community informed and up-to-date on progress.
“The new ‘Cultural and Civic Space – For the Heart of the City’ is a major focus for our overall strategy to transform the CBD into a vibrant, busy destination that draws in locals and visitors alike,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Denise Knight.
“We want to see Coffs Harbour’s city centre rival the best that the metropolitan cities can offer.”
In June 2016, and then in May this year, Council endorsed the project to develop the old Salvation Army building in Gordon Street into a new Library and Gallery.
While speaking on Triple M, the Mayor told Moffee on Tuesday, they may sell the existing Council buildings, saying “they are worth quite a bit of money, and maybe build residential, and put some of the council workers in the one building, which would be the Art Gallery and Library”.
This followed a thorough investigation of 11 possible locations within the City Centre Masterplan area.
In addition, a significant upgrade and a redesign of Gordon Street and the Riding Lane area is also planned to complement this project. Not only will this improve pedestrian access to the Cultural and Civic Space, but to make the Precinct more attractive, safe and convenient for use by pedestrians and cyclists as well as vehicles.
“Some people have asked why the new facility has to be in the city centre,” said Cr Knight. “First of all, current best practice in urban planning says that having a cultural precinct in the heart of a city centre is vital. They bring life, vibrancy, cultural and economic benefits to areas that can otherwise be lifeless outside business hours – and it brings the cultural community into the heart of the city too.
“A city centre location is also important because it offers convenience – you can shop, use services, eat, exercise and enjoy a cultural experience – all in one visit. Plus the new building will be just two minutes’ walk from City Square, parking and public transport.
“We want a new cultural heart that is inclusive, attractive and welcoming to all.”