As you may know, here at WynnumCentral we have been banging on about the empty shop issue for a long time. Every survey we run (including this last one) shows us that it is not just our concern but one that is shared by many local residents, especially those that have been in Wynnum long enough to remember it as a thriving shopping hub.
It’s evident that the problems in retail are not limited to Wynnum and the big question now – around Australia and around the world is – what is to become of retail precincts?
Brisbane City Council have recently – after lengthy discussions and deliberations – acknowledged that the empty shop issue is one that needs addressing, not just in Wynnum but across Brisbane – and just last week launched their Suburban Shopfront Activation Program to help reactivate shopping precincts.
As far as we can tell it is very similar to the Renew Australia model that we have wanted to get running in Wynnum for several years, originally in conjunction with the now defunct Wynnum Chamber of Commerce (see previous articles we have written about the Renew program here).
An important addition to the original Renew program (which we think will help kickstart the council’s program) is that there is also a Suburban Shopfront Activation Grant available to property owners and empty shop occupants who participate in the scheme. However a major limitation is that the grant for property owners and prospective occupants is limited to the first 12 eligible applicants (of each), a limit we assume applies Brisbane-wide. The property owner grants and the prospective occupant grants are $2,000 per successful applicant.
We very much hope the program is a success and look forward to it being rolled out more widely and – we also hope – financially supported by council beyond the first 24 applicants.
Anybody wishing to participate – property owners and potential users of spaces, can find out more details and register for the program here…
What are your thoughts on the new scheme? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.
Photo: Fruit & veg shop in Edith Street that closed recently