Friday, July 8, 2022

Urban park trial for Raymond Terrace

A new urban park will be trialled in Raymond Terrace after Port Stephens Council secured grant funding from the NSW Government allowing the community’s vision for a revitalised main street to come to life.

Mayor, Ryan Palmer said Council was awarded $497,516 in the NSW Government’s Streets as Shared Spaces program to transform a section of the Terrace’s main street into a new hub of activity.

“We’ll create a space where people can come together and small-scale events can take centre stage,” Mr Palmer said.

“The way people interact has evolved since the pandemic – there’s a greater appreciation for the outdoors and an eagerness to get out of the house and meet in public places such as beaches, parks, or cafés when socialising.”

Community Assets Coordinator, Paul Burton said the new William Street Urban Park will be a destination meeting point that brings locals together.

“We look forward to seeing the community use the space to hang out, relax and enjoy some sunshine,” Mr Burton said.

Vibrant Places Coordinator, Portia Wendt said the proximity to the commercial heart of the Terrace will mean businesses will also benefit from people enjoying the new space – with cafés, retail stores and a range of services all a stone’s throw away.

“The purpose of Council’s new Vibrant Places team is to activate places within the LGA making sure the community have vibrant, and enjoyable places to live, work, and spend time together,” Mrs Wendt said.

“This grant allows us to further develop exciting and functional spaces for Raymond Terrace locals.

“Raymond Terrace is shaking off its image as a commercial and industrial hub, continually evolving with the addition of more and more places of leisure, events, and social activity which families can enjoy.”

Executive Director Cities, Revitalisation and Place, Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon said the Streets as Shared Spaces program is part of the NSW Government’s focused efforts to help residents and the economy following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These projects provide improvements to how we use our public spaces, and will create employment opportunities and make our streets more attractive and welcoming for people,” Dr Butler-Bowdon said.

“This project is one of many that will activate and re-imagine an under-utilised space and provide social, health and economic benefits for the local community.”

The William Street project involves the demolition of an unused and inaccessible building, and the introduction of seating, landscaping and a stage, improving pedestrian connectivity from the commercial heart of the Terrace, up to the new space.

The interim use of the currently inaccessible site will allow Council to trial public space improvements ahead of permanent changes to the Sturgeon Street alignment as per the recent Raymond Terrace Public Domain Plan.

The Urban Park trial project is expected to start in October 2023 and finish in February 2023.

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