Published: Tuesday, 28 May 2019 at 2:48:49 PM

I understand the deep concern that many of our businesses and residents are feeling about what is happening on Beaufort Street. We have seen the closure of longstanding independent businesses on the Street and more vacancies emerging.

We do know that vacancies and a lack of a diverse and unique mix of offerings on Beaufort Street can have a ripple on effect for surrounding businesses. Bricks and mortar independent businesses on high streets are what give our inner city town centres the creative edge over large scale shopping centres. The right mix needs to deliver both day and night time trade and be complementary.

The City of Vincent plans to tackle this issue head on with a new Vacancy Project. We want to help bring that much needed diversity the strip, to attract people back and breathe new life into Beaufort Street. This is the critical issue that needs to be tackled.

For our Vacancy Project to have the greatest opportunity of success, we will be advocating strongly to landlords that they come on board and work with us. We need the support of landlords to fill their vacant shop fronts to rejuvenate the blank spaces. We want to start with curating an interesting mix of pop-ups and work together on finding longer term, more permanent solutions to this central problem.

We continue to support the Beaufort Street Network (our local town team) and we’re talking to our neighbours at the City of Stirling. We will work together on as many of our projects as we can to encourage business confidence and bring people back to Beaufort.

Building on our infrastructure investment on Beaufort Street in the past five years – like Mary Street Piazza, the Light Box Laneway Gallery, large scale street art and continual funding of events – we will continue to invest in Beaufort Street.

We have earmarked around $330,000 of funding in our draft 2019/20 budget for initiatives and projects that will support Beaufort Street.

Creative lighting on the Street will be installed by September and a substantial arts and events program is planned with the Beaufort Street Network.

Continuing our place based approach, we will work with businesses and residents to create our Place Plan for Mount Lawley. This will provide a series of short, medium and long-term strategies to focus our efforts.

Our Economic Development Strategy for the whole of the City of Vincent will investigate the levers that local government can use to support our unique high streets. This is an issue that all inner city local governments face, and one of the top agenda items for the new Inner City Mayor’s Group – a collaboration between the Cities of Vincent, Perth, Subiaco, South Perth and Town of Victoria Park.

All of these actions will be underpinned by a strong Support Local marketing campaign for Beaufort Street.

The first hour free in our public carparks is a signature of the City of Vincent, but we will continue to investigate if we have the parking solutions right. Maximising turnover in our parking is critical to ensure that customers have access to our local businesses.

In order to solve the issues on Beaufort Street, there is not one easy answer. However, working together with local businesses, landlords, the Beaufort Street Network and our local government neighbours, I believe we can create a sustainable future for Beaufort Street.

Summary of new Beaufort Street Action Plan and current supporting initiatives (approximately $330,00 investment):

  • Vacancy Project
  • Installing creative lighting on the Street (scheduled for September 2019)
  • Events funding plus events in Barlee Street/ Grovenor Road to trial potential development of shared spaces
  • Town Team Grant for Beaufort Street Network
  • Beaufort Street Town Centre Place Plan
  • Support local marketing campaign
  • Art initiatives: Platform Project and Lightbox Laneway
  • Eco Christmas campaign on Beaufort
  • City of Vincent Economic Development Strategy

Mayor Emma Cole

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