Orange City Council is supporting its local retail industry by offering grants of $5,000 to upgrade building frontages or reinstate heritage items on CBD properties.
The funding, part of Council’s Future City plans, is designed to showcase the city’s beautiful buildings, enhance the CBD, support retail and give a boost to local tradespeople.
Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the Future City Assistance Fund was available to owners of commercial buildings in the CBD area, and included repairs, conservation or reinstatement of heritage items and painting upgrades.
“Future City is about creating a CBD Orange residents can be proud of,” Cr Kidd said. “We want the best regional CBD in New South Wales, a place where people want to spend time, gather and support local businesses. The Future City project is also about creating a CBD which will attract new investment.”
“This latest initiative of Future City is designed to upgrade existing buildings to lift and brighten the CBD.
“We have a total pool of $200,000 for the Future City Assistance Fund of the Future City plans.”
Grants are available to building owners who are able to match Council’s financial contribution, and grants of $10,000 are available in exceptional circumstances.
Orange City Council’s Employment and Economic Development Committee Chair Cr Tony Mileto said businesses would need to employ local tradespeople for the upgrade works.
“We’re interesting in funding projects which will have a significant impact on the visual amenity of the CBD, so items such as upgrading or reinstating awnings, or verandas and external painting jobs,” Cr Mileto said.
“Future City is happening now. The projects we’re looking to fund need to be completed in the next six months. We want to give our economy the best chance at thriving post COVID‐19 and we are in the early stages of our three year plan.
“Future City includes a range of business support such as website design, pop‐up stop facilities, CBD upgrades like green walls, outdoor dining pods, better lighting, public art and start‐up support and that’s just year one.”
Orange Business Chamber president Jack Evans supports the initiative.
“This is a great opportunity to spruce up the CBD and make it feel like the 21st century city we are becoming,” Jack Evans said. “People will take pride in saying “I’m from Orange.”
“This initiative will also have significant long term economic benefits, creating jobs for tradies and drawing customers into the CBD to shop in our businesses”.