THE BEAUFORT Street Network has been “recharged” in a bid to turn around the flagging fortunes of the street.
The network, a group of locals and business owners passionate about their area, held “Beaufort Street Recharged” on Monday (June 18) to recruit flesh blood and revitalise the organisation.
Over the last 10 years the network has completed dozens of projects, ranging from small street art installations to running the mammoth Beaufort Street Festival, which grew to become Perth’s biggest street party.
But after the festival wound up the network lost its focus, and founder John Carey says Leederville has usurped Beaufort Street as the premier inner-city destination.
“For a long time it led the way, but I think it’s fair to say that Beaufort Street is having some significant struggles,” the Perth MP says.
“And this is said kindly, but it has lost its crown as the premier town centre in the inner city to Leederville.
“Leederville is pumping most days of the week and has that great mix of retail, restaurants and cafes.
“It has that eclectic mix, whereas Beaufort Street … foot traffic is way down, there are vacancies and there’s been a large number of franchises move in.”
The network was the state’s first “town team” and the model has now been replicated across Perth, from the Noranda Activation Network to the Vic Park Collective.
Vincent mayor Emma Cole says “town teams” like the network have been extremely helpful in guiding the town centres’ futures. The council’s place manager works with the town teams and has been a major funder of a lot of their events, with more money on the budget next year for infrastructure and events.
“It’s a model we definitely want to see continue … it’s led to really great things,” she says.
“As a town team, they’ve recognised that they are at a bit of a crossroads.
“They’ve had people involved that over time have left and they need new blood.”
Network executive member Simone Robeson says that lately “there seems to be a lot of interest in the area; it seems to be coming around again”.
They’re restructuring the network to have subcommittee leaders for business, not-for-profits, events, infrastructure, marketing and finance, rather than one bloated executive.
Ms Robeson says the amount of interest in the leadership positions was encouraging and they received a healthy number of nominations.
If you want to still get on board, or just be a member, you can nominate at firstname.lastname@example.org
The network will have its AGM on Wednesday July 4 at the Queens Hotel, 6pm.
by DAVID BELL