Innovative strategy to activate Windsor
Hawkesbury City Council and Windsor RSL are embarking on a new partnership to launch a revitalisation program for Windsor using a $200,000 grant from Windsor RSL.
The innovative program will involve funding a position to work with Council and existing landowners to activate the ‘High Street’ Commercial Centres of Windsor and South Windsor and boost the local economy.
Windsor RSL and Council will engage a specialist practitioner to develop and implement the project, the Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Mary Lyons-Buckett explained.
“This role will involve working with Council within the Business Centres of Windsor and South Windsor as well as the broader community,” the Mayor said.
“Thanks to a $200,000 grant from Windsor RSL, there will be a new program and a position to activate investment into the local community.
“This will provide additional employment and tourism which will offer long term benefits to our local community.”
The initiative aims to achieve many positive outcomes for the community including:
- increasing activity within commercial rental property, particularly properties that are currently vacant
- building upon the historical strengths of Windsor/South Windsor and the wider community
- engaging the local community to build upon the local produce and creativity that is already making a positive impact within Windsor, South Windsor and the wider Hawkesbury community.
“We also hope this initiative will stimulate the local economy of Windsor and South Windsor, and so help to grow the visitor economy, local employment, development and investment,” continued Councillor Lyons-Buckett.
“We are aware of the talent and capability that already exists in our local community, and we’ll be harnessing that creativity for even more opportunities.”
Current commercial conditions within the existing Business Centres located in Windsor and South Windsor have seen retail and commercial businesses intent on supporting the local community but battling to keep their doors open.
“Council is aware that both the Windsor and South Windsor ‘High Streets’ have struggled to find their position in the new order of things, with online shopping and larger outlets drawing business to other areas,” the Mayor said.
“Symbols of this struggle can be observed in the number of vacant premises along George Street in Windsor and South Windsor, many of which have been vacant for some time.
“Other Centres in Australia have experienced similar challenges, both old and new, in New South Wales and across Australia, for example Newcastle, Leichhardt, Eurobodalla, Melbourne’s Docklands and Shepparton in Victoria,” she said.
“The Hawkesbury has a lot to offer, and we know that there are many great business opportunities yet to be opened up in this area.
“A Town Centres Masterplan Project Group, which consists of Councillor Danielle Wheeler as Chair and six community representatives, has been formed as part of the Revitalisation Program. The Project Group is assisting Council with the creation of Master Plans for a number of Town Centres within the Hawkesbury Local Government Area,” the Mayor added.
“On behalf of the Hawkesbury City Council and our community, I would like to thank Windsor RSL for funding the engagement of a specialist to revitalise the Business Centres of Windsor, and partnering with Council to re-establish Windsor as a thriving community in the North West of Sydney.
“Council is eager to work with Windsor RSL, landowners and businesses to develop and implement strategies to find tenants for the currently vacant premises along George Street in Windsor and South Windsor,” Councillor Lyons-Buckett said.
“We also hope businesses will gain many benefits including solid commercial returns to grow the sustainability of our region’s visitor economy.”
The project’s principle Key Performance Indicators will include:
- reducing vacancies within the Windsor High Street Commercial Centre
- increasing the range of commercial opportunities within the Windsor High Street Commercial Centre
- increased employment opportunities
- increased local and regional tourism.
For more information about the new initiative to revitalise Windsor and surrounds, please contact Council’s Placemaking Coordinator Charles Liggett on 4560 4527.
Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Mary Lyons-Buckett and Windsor RSL General Manager Tony Jeffcott