Ipswich businesses given opportunity to improve CBD outlook

Ipswich City Council officially launches its $100,000 pilot Façade Improvement Program for the Ipswich central business district today.

Deputy Mayor and Chair of council’s Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee Marnie Doyle said the program is designed to encourage building owners and operators to invest in façade renovations, by accessing council’s financial incentive to contribute to the costs of improvement.

“Businesses and owners in the targeted area can receive up to $15,000 in matched funding from Ipswich City Council, towards improving premises’ facades,” Cr Doyle said.

“The Façade Improvement Program (FIP) is a pilot designed to provide an incentive to support business in improving their façades, as part of the overall strategy to stimulate wider investment by private business and property owners around the eligible pilot area and to tie in with the redevelopment of the Nicholas Street precinct.”

Earlier this year businesses were given the opportunity to provide feedback on the draft guidelines through Shape your Ipswich and expressions of interest were received from multiple business.

Now they can officially apply for the dollar-for-dollar funding through the councils online funding website:

“There are some really good examples of where property owners have invested a lot in maintaining the original facades of their buildings. Saddle World at the Top of Town is a great example as well as Goleby’s … there are others that would be encouraged by this opportunity to improve what they have,” Cr Doyle said.

Fellow Division 3 Councillor Andrew Fechner said the aim is to partner with local businesses to increase economic opportunities through the preservation and improvement of building facades and commercial streetscapes in the eligible pilot area, which will help to increase patronage and ultimately foot traffic.

“The improvements are expected to contribute to the streets’ atmosphere, overall appeal and create an engaging experience for visitors,” Cr Fechner said.

“If successful the pilot could be extended to further areas of the city centre.”

Cr Fechner said the program supports the revitalisation of the Ipswich Central area and the completion of the $250 million Nicholas Street redevelopment.

The pilot area boasts high foot traffic and is home to many commercial businesses that would benefit from this program.

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