Vulnerable town needs state help

BAYSWATER’S town centre is “particularly vulnerable” and will need at least half a million dollars from the WA government to help businesses survive the disruption of the upcoming train station redevelopment.

That’s the message Bayswater will take to planning and transport minister Rita Saffioti and Maylands MP Lisa Baker following the council’s adoption of a plan to retain and attract visitors to the town during the two-year construction period.

The council says its commitment is worth $308,020, but cash and in-kind support from community partners takes the local component to $880,000.

The three-fold plan of attack is to create a laneway activation project, develop destination marketing and create a “space bank” project.

Business support

The latter was conceived by Bendigo Bank franchisee Bayswater Community Financial Services, which purchased 83 Whatley Crescent opposite the train station last year and wants to turn it into a business support and community centre.

BCFS would provide administration and business support, but needs outside cash to fit the building out to create shared workspaces and community facilities. Bayswater has already kicked in $20,000 over two years to the project.

The laneway behind businesses on the northern side of King William Street would be activated by long table dinners, creative lighting, vintage markets, some greenery, acoustic music nights, film nights, art installations and festivals.

The destination marketing plan would promote the town centre both internally and externally to bring in new visitors, be linked to events, competitions and vouchers, and would involve “wayfinding and signage highlighting key locations and businesses”.

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