Ideas to aid business renewal in creative industries across Toowoomba’s CBD were discussed at a public information session in the city last week.
Toowoomba Regional Council Strategic Planning and Economic Development portfolio leader Cr Anne Glasheen said more than 30 people attended the Creative CBD information evening at the Toowoomba City Library’s community rooms.
Cr Glasheen said the session was run by Renew Australia, a not-for-profit social enterprise that provides support and resources to transform vacant spaces into vibrant businesses.
“People involved in the property sector, social enterprises and creative industries heard how Renew Australia establishes relationships between property owners and creative start-up businesses that are looking for a shop front,” Cr Glasheen said.
“The program seeks to help local communities enliven and energise main streets and central business districts by reviving vacant or under-used spaces as creative hubs.
“Introducing lively, new enterprises keeps foot traffic in the business areas, provides employment and aids overall business confidence.
“Renew defines creative businesses as enterprises that create and sell their own intellectual property or wares.
“Eligible business tenants must complement, not compete with surrounding businesses. New programs are developed with relevant neighbours and are customised to suit the needs of property owners and prospective tenants.
“Renew projects can be led by community, corporate or government organisations and are tailored to suit available funding.
“New enterprises are attracted by the opportunity to dip a toe in the water without needing significant upfront funds or the uncertainty of signing up to long-term commitments.
“Many of these creative outlets also add to an area’s tourism appeal.
“Toowoomba has a wealth of people involved in creative pursuits and it will be interesting to see how good ideas might be turned into prospective business opportunities.”
Renew Australia Manager Angela Simons outlined various Renew projects in Geelong, Wollongong and Broken Hill.