A new urban park will be trialled for Raymond Terrace after the council successfully won a grant from the NSW Government allowing the community’s vision of a revitalized high street to come to life.
Pictured: Concept plan for the flexible urban open space at the center of Raymond Terrace.
Mayor Ryan Palmer said Port Stephens Council had received $497,516 under the NSW Government’s Streets as Shared Spaces program to turn a section of Terrace High Street into a new center of activity.
“We’re going to create a space where people can come together and where small-scale events can take center stage,” Palmer said.
“The way people interact has evolved since the pandemic – there is a greater appreciation for the outdoors and a desire to get out of the house and meet in public places such as beaches, parks or cafes during socialization,” he added.
Community Assets Coordinator Paul Burton said the new William Street Urban Park will be a meeting point that brings residents together.
“We look forward to seeing the community use the space to relax, unwind and enjoy the sun,” Burton said.
The trial of the new William Street Urban Park will also support local businesses by increasing pedestrian traffic and extending downtime.
Vibrant Places coordinator Portia Wendt said the Terrace’s proximity to the commercial heart will mean businesses will also benefit from people enjoying the new space – with cafes, retail stores and a range of services on the doorstep.
“The aim of the Council’s new Vibrant Places team is to activate places within the LGA by ensuring the community has vibrant and enjoyable places to live, work and spend time together,” said Ms. Wendt.
“This grant allows us to further develop exciting and functional spaces for the residents of Raymond Terrace.
“Raymond Terrace is shedding its image as an ever-changing commercial and industrial hub with the addition of more and more places for recreation, events and social activities that families can enjoy,” she said. added.
Cities, Revitalization and Place Executive Director Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon said the Streets as Shared Spaces program is part of the NSW Government’s targeted efforts to help residents and the economy following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These projects improve the way we use our public spaces, will create job opportunities and make our streets more attractive and welcoming to people.” said Dr. Butler-Bowdon.
This project is one of many that will activate and reinvent underutilized space and bring social, health and economic benefits to the local community,” she added.
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 to the new space .
Interim use of this currently inaccessible site will allow Council to test public space improvements prior to permanent changes to the Sturgeon Street alignment in accordance with the recent Raymond Terrace Public Realm Plan.
The urban park trial project is scheduled to begin in October 2023 and end in February 2023.