At the signing of Renew Devonport Partners’ MOU today, are, (front) Devonport City Council Mayor, Alderman Steve Martin, Devonport Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, Sylvia Sayers, (back) Tasmanian Regional Arts’ Renew Devonport Arts Liaison Officer, Eunice Horne, Tasmanian Regional Arts’ Board representative, Lee Cole and Devonport Chamber of Commerce and Industry Senior Vice President and Chair, Eric Mobbs.<
Today the Renew Devonport project was launched with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Devonport City Council, Devonport Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Tasmanian Regional Arts.
Supported by the Devonport Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the project is jointly funded by Tasmanian Regional Arts and the Devonport City Council. The project working group is also in negotiations for further funding from the State Government.
All parties are keen to begin the process of revitalising Devonport’s retail precincts. The model is based on Renew Australia which places creative producers in vacant shops on short-term leases to regenerate retail precincts.
Chair of the Renew Devonport Working Group Eric Mobbs said currently there are 25 vacant shops within the Devonport retail precincts.
“Many Tasmanians have looked at and explored a solution to the empty shops and the economic downturn – Devonport is doing something about it,” Mr Mobbs said.
“Serious interest from property owners was generated in the project when Marcus Westbury of Renew Australia and Marni Jackson of Renew Newcastle visited Devonport on July 14 to present the opportunities,” he said.
During their visit, Mr Westbury and Ms Jackson were given a tour of the city and provided advice to the Renew Devonport Working Group regarding the suitability of potential properties for the project and recommendations on the rollout.
“A number of the vacant shops were identified as potentially suitable, and at least one Renew Devonport project is envisaged to be active by early September,” Mr Mobbs said.
Tasmanian Regional Arts State Executive Member Lee Cole said strong interest has also been received from local artists, but the project team are keen to hear from more.
“We’re very fortunate that we have a diverse and talented creative community in the north-west, and this is a great opportunity for everyone,” Mr Cole said.
Creative thinkers, makers, and artists who are keen to incubate new ideas are invited to submit Expressions of Interest from August 1 to August 21, 2014 at www.tasregionalarts.org.au/renewdevonport. Once expressions of interest close, the Renew Australia team will visit Devonport again to assist in matching creatives with properties.
The project will be facilitated by Tasmanian Regional Arts with support from the Devonport Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
To get behind this exciting initiative, keep an eye on updates at www.facebook.com/RenewDevonport
For further information mail to: Renew Devonport, Devonport Corporate Centre, Bass House, 1st Floor Cnr
Edward & Best Street, PO Box 1262, Devonport, 7310.
For more information and photo opportunities please contact , on 0407 588 700.
Tasmanian Regional Arts (TRA) is the peak organisation for regional arts
and community based arts in Tasmania.
Eric Mobbs, Chair Renew Devonport Working Group