Council secures $497,000 grant funding for Raymond Terrace Urban Park trial

A concept plan of the flexible urban open space in the centre of Raymond Terrace.

RESIDENTS in Raymond Terrace are set to experience a new Urban Park for a trial period.

A new Urban Park will be trialled for Raymond Terrace, funded through $497,516 of grant funding obtained through NSW Government’s ‘Streets as Shared Spaces’ program.

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Port Stephens Council was awarded the funding to transform a section of Raymond Terrace’s main street into a community hub of activity where people will be able to come together and stage small-scale events.

Port Stephens Council’s Community Assets Coordinator, Paul Burton, said the new William Street Urban Park will be a destination meeting point that brings locals together.

“We look forward to seeing the community use the space to hang out, relax and enjoy some sunshine,” Mr Burton said.

This trial will support local businesses which have been affected by the pandemic by increasing pedestrian movement, and prolonging dwell times.

Council Vibrant Places Coordinator Portia Wendt said the proximity to the commercial heart of the Terrace will mean businesses will also benefit from people enjoying the new space – with cafés, retail stores and a range of services all a stone’s throw away.

“The purpose of Council’s new Vibrant Places team is to activate places within the LGA making sure the community have vibrant, and enjoyable places to live, work, and spend time together.

“This grant allows us to further develop exciting and functional spaces for Raymond Terrace locals.

“Raymond Terrace is shaking off its image as a commercial and industrial hub, continually evolving with the addition of more and more places of leisure, events, and social activity which families can enjoy,” Mrs Wendt said.

Project’s such as this upgrade allow opportunities for employment, aesthetic value and improvement in the use of public spaces which are often under-utilised.

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 Raymond Terrace, up to the new space.

The interim use of this currently inaccessible site will allow Council to trial public space improvements ahead of permanent changes to the Sturgeon Street alignment as per the recent Raymond Terrace Public Domain Plan.

The Urban Park trial project is expected to start in October 2022 and finish in February 2023.

By Tara CAMPBELL

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