Ipswich Budget 2023-2024: City centre’s rebirth on track as funding allocated for next steps

The steady rebirth of Ipswich’s city centre from empty footpaths and quiet streets into a vibrant, welcoming city is entering a new and exciting stage.

Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee Chairperson and Division 3 Councillor Marnie Doyle said the 2023-2024 Annual Plan and Budget would invest further funding to progress the major work of expanding the Nicholas Street Precinct.

“Over the past three years of this council term, we have seen a remarkable transformation of our city centre,” Cr Doyle said.

“The opening of two new libraries, including Australia’s first dedicated Children’s Library, the launch of our new civic space Tulmur Place and the opening of council’s new administration building at 1 Nicholas Street have created a modern, diverse lifestyle hub for residents and visitors.

 “We have welcomed a host of new restaurants, cafes and small businesses into the Nicholas Street Precinct, and this year we will see even more throw open their doors.

“Importantly, many long-term local business owners throughout Ipswich Central are also reaping the rewards of council’s investment with increased visitor and pedestrian numbers.

“Tulmur Place has become a popular location for markets, festivals and events, with a new visitation record set in May with 103,000 visitors.

“It is rapidly becoming south-east Queensland’s school holiday destination.

“This 2023-2024 Annual Plan and Budget will commit $5.5 million for the ongoing restoration of the Commonwealth Hotel, $3.8 million for the expansion of Tulmur Walk, connecting the precinct with the train station, and $1.2 million for the precinct’s dining hub.

“The budget also commits $34.9 million for the exciting Venue project on the corner of Brisbane and Ellenborough streets, set to welcome more entertainment options and become the home of HOYTS Cinemas.”

The building now being referred to as Venue was purchased by one of the controlled entities of the former council who had intentions to revitalise the centre of Ipswich.

With the Venue welcoming more entertainment and dining options, it will round out the Nicholas Street Precinct’s visionary redevelopment into a new lifestyle centre for Ipswich.

“It’s a proud moment for Ipswich to be able to look back at what has been achieved in just three years, and even more exciting to look ahead at what is to come,” Cr Doyle said.

“Venue is anticipated to be completed by mid-2024, and a new leasing agent has been secured to begin the marketing campaign for tenancy options inside.

“This budget will continue our journey on restoring our city’s heart, and I am excited to see what happens next.”

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