Revitalisation of town centre

Singleton Council is celebrating after the State Government announced $9 million in funding for the revitalisation of the Singleton Town Centre under the Resources for Regions program.

Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner made the announcement in Singleton with the Member for Upper Hunter, George Souris and Singleton Mayor,
John Martin.

The town centre project is one of 14 that were shortlisted by the State Government for a share of $40 million Resources for Regions funding to support communities affected by mining.

The Singleton Local Government Area contributes $550 million in mining royalties every year, double the amount of the second closest contributor. Singleton’s gross regional product per capita is $393,895, more than 5.5 times the state average of $65,813.

The revitalisation project, to which Singleton Council had already committed $2 million, will enable the implementation of the Singleton Town Centre Master Plan that was adopted by Council in July.

The master plan guides the development and renewal of the town centre into a vibrant, well-connected and sustainable place. The overall economic benefits of the revitalisation project are estimated at almost $24 million.

Singleton Council General Manager Lindy Hyam said the announcement was fantastic.

“This is an exciting day for the Singleton community. Revitalisation of the town centre is this Council’s number one priority and we know it’s been on the wish list of many people in our community for a long, long time.”

Council is currently assessing tenders for the detailed design and specification of Stage 1 – Streetscape Upgrade. The Stage 1 works include street upgrades, traffic calming, footpath widening, parking, lighting, street trees, pedestrian crossings, paving, street furniture and associated infrastructure; and other landscaping and infrastructure works.

Once the detailed design and specifications are prepared the community will be invited to provide feedback before a formal exhibition period.

Council aims to invite tenders to construct the works no later than April or May 2014.

Ms Hyam said the stresses and strains on the town’s infrastructure and amenities during the peak mining boom period had left the town centre looking tired.
“Council is looking at the best use of infrastructure in a flood-prone, high traffic area while we continue to pursue opportunities for diversification and prepare for life after mining.

“This project is about creating an ambience that makes people want to visit, shop and dine in the town centre.

 “We’re aiming for that big village feel and we’ve considered beauty and attractiveness, as well as functionality and practical aspects like parking and traffic.
“The project also takes into account a change in densities and economic development drivers for retail and commercial sectors.

“We want to improve engagement between the town centre and the river and create a real sense of place for our community. We also want to capitalise on our heritage and it’s important we get those principles right.”