Renew Australia conference in town

MELBOURNE-based Renew Australia will hold a conference in Newcastle in March to promote reuse of empty buildings.

The Creating Spaces summit between March12 and 14 at City Hall will draw local, state and federal government staff as well as communities  driving urban renewal in regional areas.

Co-ordinator Siobhan Curran said projects including Renew Newcastle, New Zealand’s Gap Filler and Britain’s Empty Shops Network will participate.

‘‘Attendees will learn the impact of creative activation of empty spaces in previously struggling town centres, and be introduced to essential DIY tools and strategies to build creative and engaging spaces and town centre activation,’’ she said.  ‘‘Most importantly they will leave with inspiration and foundation knowledge to initiate and build similar projects in their own community.’’

More information on the federal government-funded initiative can be found at creating spacesconference.floktu.com. 

Meanwhile a group formed to clean up the West End precinct has set a three-month deadline to get some runs on the board.

Comprising business owners and residents, the West End Advisory Group was formed late last year by Newcastle Now, which is working with Newcastle Council on placemaking activities to reactivate the CBD.

At last week’s meeting, the group appointed resident and company director Wez Werrin as its chairman and elected to give Bellevue Street, the Anaconda/Spotlight corner and Little Birdwood Park a face-lift. 

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