Renew Armidale Inc – Revitalise Armidale Region’s CBDs (Armidale and Guyra) to a valuable, energetic, artistically significant community and urban space.
How did Renew Armidale start – A Community forum with 40 non-for-profit organisations, Representatives from Armidale Regional Council, real estate agents, local businesses and business chambers was held in Feb 2017 in Guyra with the Presenters being the Founder and CEO of Renew Newcastle, Marcus Westbury and General Manager, Christopher Saunders.
From July to August 2018 a Display in Armidale War Memorial library about Renew Newcastle ‘Renew in a Box’ was used to promote the concept to the Armidale Region and test whether such a project would be welcomed in the Armidale region.
One the display was set up, breakfast with a presentation from Christopher Saunders, General Manager of Renew Newcastle and attended by University of New England representatives, local businesses and banks, real estate agents and interested community members. Sponsored by Armidale Regional Council via Armidale Guyra Business Alliance. The cost to bring the display to Armidale was $4400.00. Approximately 70 people attended and expressed interest in the development of a similar project in the Armidale Region.
A committee of interested persons (Aileen MacDonald, Anthony Fox, Andrew Korsch, Neil Mortimer, Garry Slocombe, Gordon Cope) was formed and an Incorporated Association was developed with an AGM held in January 2019 to commence Renew Armidale Inc in our region.
Since that time Renew has successfully provided facilities for 10 participants in 5 premises in the Armidale Mall this year. These include but are not limited to:
Embody Life Studio
Bellydance Earth & Sky
Armidale Aboriginal Community Garden
Art Asylum Live
Fleece to Fashion
Waste > Art Competition
Darcy Barker – HSC Art Student
Renew Armidale maintains a website at www.renewarmidale.org and a Facebook page and has attracted 42 members in its first 6 months. Renew Armidale has had financial support from Regional Australia Bank ($3000.00) and Armidale Guyra Business Alliance through Armidale Regional Council ($7400.00 over two years).
There is still more to do and to do so requires support from our State Member for Stronger Communities Fund and other financial or in kind support from business; Landlords, Council and the Community. We have recently worked with Irene Lemon, Business Advisor with Creative + Business to develop an Action Plan for the next stage of our project.
The four key areas we will work on are:-
Funding – How will Renew Armidale become financially viable and sustainable in the short and long term
Governance – Who or What should be in charge of the management and running or Renew Armidale
Engagement – How will Renew Armidale attract both tenants, local people, Landlords, visitors – the community
Risk Management – What needs to be done to ensure the project is safe and accessible to everyone
Renew Armidale will return Armidale and Guyra CBDs to strong community rallying points with varied interests, well-kept spaces and productive relationships between landlords, councils, art groups and businesses. To do this we will:
- encourage art in the CBDs
- build innovative, collaborative agreements between tenants and landlords
- facilitate inclusive community events
- create opportunities for start-ups to test the market without having to risk their financial futures
- fill the unoccupied premises in the CBDs
- provide welcoming spaces and business opportunities to recent migrants
- reclaim our spaces to be safe with a sense of ownership by their communities
Work within the Armidale and Guyra CBDs to:
Establish artistic, innovative, lively and vibrant central rallying points for Armidale and Guyra’s community spirit, thus generating opportunities for artists, start-up businesses and landlords. These goals will be measured as follows:
- Occupancy – increasing to at least 90% occupancy in the Armidale and Guyra CBDs
- Creative Culture – the number of creative culture business created each year
- Well-Kept Space – before and after photos demonstrate a strong improvement in attention to detail and appeal of the central spaces
- Events – increase in the number of community events per annum that use the central spaces
- Installations – number of art installations, both ephemeral and permanent created each year
- Commercial Value – increase in measures of property values for landlords
- Rallying Point – number of volunteer hours
- Criminal Statistics – improvements in the statistics for crime in the central areas
- Start-ups – number of start-ups created
- Business Services – number of business workshops (legal, financial and fiduciary) and utilities (web use, microloans) run each year
- Foot Traffic – increases in the numbers of people visiting the central spaces
- Belonging – acceptance of Renew Armidale as the facility managers of the community spaces
If you would like a presentation on the project, Renew Armidale Inc or would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact anyone of our Board Members.
Renew Armidale Inc
Mobile: 0417 079 307