Hendy Cowan

Hendy Cowan


    Government extends scheme to boost regional CBDs

    26/11/2000 11:00 AM

        Regional areas are set to benefit from a significant expansion of the successful Mainstreet program, which assists communities to undertake local development projects.

        Regional Development Minister Hendy Cowan said funding for the program would be increased from $20,000 a year for each town to $30,000 a year, and would be available over four years rather than three.

        “This will significantly increase the State’s funding commitment and enable regional communities to undertake more projects over a longer period,” Mr Cowan said.

        “It reflects the enormous success Mainstreet has had in areas ranging from job creation and increased business turnover to building community cohesion and civic pride.

        “The program will continue to focus on business development and community-wide activities that benefit everyone from seniors to young people.

        “This is an integral part of the Coalition Government’s commitment to building stronger communities.”

        Mainstreet is designed to stimulate economic activity in towns ranging in size from 2000 to 15,000 people. The funding enables a Mainstreet co-ordinator to be employed to help start up projects that have been identified by the local community.

        A portion of the funding ($5,000) will also be allocated for marketing and promotion and project administration.

        Twenty-three towns have received Mainstreet funding since the State-wide program began in 1992, with some projects literally transforming the central business area, leading to building upgrades, new business start-ups and more jobs.

        Towns to have benefited to date include: Albany, Manjimup, Boulder, York, Broome, Collie, Carnarvon, Northam, Merredin, Pinjarra, Busselton, Port Hedland, Katanning, Bridgetown, Dongara, Donnybrook, Harvey, Esperance, Narrogin, Waroona and Newman.

        Individual activities co-ordinated by Mainstreet range across business development projects, business workshops and seminars, ‘buy local’ campaigns and business retention and expansion programs, through to promotional events such as weekend markets, festivals and celebrations to attract people to town.

        Mr Cowan said towns presently taking part in the project could apply for the new funding levels at the end of their current agreement.

        “Towns now in the third year and which had been expecting their funding to end soon will be particularly pleased at the opportunity to access a fourth year of funding,” he said.

        Communities are required to contribute $5,000 cash or in-kind support for the first three years funding, and will need to provide matching funds to receive fourth-year funding.

        The Mainstreet program is co-ordinated by the Department of Commerce and Trade and is part of the State Government's CommunityWise program.

        Media contact: Peter Jackson 9222-9595