CBD cash boost

There was a strong turnout at the June 29 briefing event where local government minister John Carey (left) gave would-be event organisers the rundown on the $100,000 individual grants.

IN an effort to revive the Perth CBD from pandemic-era doldrums the state government will throw in $4million to boost foot traffic and fund city events.

Businesses, not-for-profits and property owners with ideas for vibrant events to revitalise the CBD can now apply for up to $100,000 in grants.

Organisers will be able to use state government spaces like Elizabeth Quay, the Perth Cultural Centre and Yagan Square, which was meant to be a thriving event space but hasn’t had much activity outside of Fringe season. 

Local government minister John Carey announced the grants saying: “We want to get people back into the city supporting small businesses and driving vibrancy, and this $4million grants program is a fantastic opportunity to make that happen.

“We’re envisaging pop-up markets, long table dinners, live music performances, food and wine events, fashion shows, art exhibits, children’s entertainment, and more.”

Mr Carey said: “After the past couple of years, social reconnection is powerful and as well as being good from a human interaction perspective, these activation events have great potential to increase spending and assist businesses needing support as they recover from the impacts of the pandemic.”

Grant applications will be assessed by the local government department and they want to see new events that’ll bring in a lot of people who’ll spend money on surrounding businesses and liven up under-utilised areas. 

Perth council’s also been spending big trying to get people back into the city in recent months, trialling free parking periods and giving out small business grants.

At the June 28 council meeting, deputy lord mayor Di Bain said the city-funded Saturday’s Rugby fan day in Forrest Place had brought in 2300 extra people to the city, and other events like Supanova Comic Con and the Van Gogh Alive exhibition had helped boost numbers. 

The state’s $4million in grants bolsters the $7million announced in April to help improve Yagan Square, a project delivered under the previous state government that’s proved to be too boring on the inside and too combative on the outside.

Turnover of businesses inside the main Market Hall food court has been pretty high due to a lack of customers since the 2018 opening, and the outside area is dogged with so much antisocial behaviour, a mobile policing station is now a permanent fixture. 

The $7million will redesign Market Hall to get more pedestrian flow and events company Nokturnl have been selected as an anchor tenant to lead the revamp. They’ve previously created the multi-venues The Old Synagogue in Fremantle and The Beaufort in Mount Lawley. 

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