Monday, 2 July 2012
An urban renewal project in Tamworth which aims to create a neighbourhood with a well-planned, attractive built environment and affordable housing has secured a $10.7M Federal Government grant through the Building Better Regional Cities program.
The New Opportunities West Project is based around the Urban Renewal Masterplan for Coledale, a joint initiative of Tamworth Regional Council and Housing NSW.
Independent Federal Member for New England, Tony Windsor, announced Tamworth Regional Council’s successful grant application in Tamworth on Sunday, 1 July.
‘Tamworth Regional Council has shown strong community leadership in developing the ‘New Opportunity West’ Project,’ he said.
‘There are many physical and social issues that have needed addressing in the Coledale area for many years – issues that have needed a whole of community and government approach to solving them.
‘I thank the Federal Government for their $10.7M contribution. It will go a long way to assisting in implementing the plan that includes more affordable housing, improved infrastructure and better access to services.’ Tamworth Mayor Col Murray said the Building Better Regional Cities grant is ‘a huge win’ for the region.
‘Never before has Council received this much funding for this type of project,’ he said. ‘The New Opportunities West Project is such an exciting opportunity for the Tamworth region – it will help us become a better regional city - and this funding means we can start to take it from plan to reality.'
‘Council has been looking ways it can help improve Coledale for some time. Now it can start to happen.'
‘However this is not only a win for Coledale - its positive flow-on effects will impact across the region’s community and its economy.’ Tamworth Regional Council Manager Community Services, Bruce Mercer, said the New Opportunities West Project is the result of three years of work and consultation with the Coledale community by Council in collaboration with Housing NSW, Homes North, the multi-sector Youth Opportunities Working Group and the Tamworth Place Team.
‘The project includes a range of initiatives which aim to revitalise Coledale,’ Mr Mercer said. `It combines improvements to the built environment, providing affordable housing, youth centre and improvements to accessibility for pedestrians, vehicles, bikes and public transport.
‘The idea is to make Coledale a more attractive place to live as well as addressing the wider social, environmental and economic factors which can lead to disengagement and social disadvantage.’ `The project is about making a positive contribution to the community and providing a framework for positive change – it is about community renewal.’
Key infrastructure to be undertaken as part of The New Opportunities West Project includes:
- A new youth centre to service youth of the region for health and wellbeing needs, as well as cultural recreation pursuits;
- A new access road through Centenary Park (Cossa Street Extension) to improve east west connectivity;
- Extension of the main trunk road (Cole Road) providing access to currently undeveloped greenfield land and a new entrance to the suburb from Oxley Highway (to improve north south connectivity);
- Footpath, kerb and gutter upgrade works in key areas; and,
- Improvements to street lighting and streetscapes.
Tamworth Regional Council General Manager Paul Bennett has praised Council staff, community members and agency representatives who have been working on a variety of strategies for Coledale over a number of years.
‘A lot of time and effort has led to the New Opportunities West Project securing funding,’ he said. ‘A large part of that success, I believe, is because the grant application was based on the true fundamentals of Building Better Regional Cities – it focused on making our existing community a better place to live.
‘There has been a genuine desire among Council staff and councillors for some time to initiate positive change for Coledale community and this grant has now given us the means to do it.’ Mr Windsor said he looks forward to the project ‘improving the lives of people in the community of Tamworth’.
Work on the New Opportunities West project will start after Tamworth regional councillors formally endorse the funding agreement from the federal government. The first $3 million instalment of the funds are expected soon after the agreement is finalised.