Shire of Collie's plan to energise town centre

A new Shire of Collie initiative will seek to connect projects with empty spaces, providing benefits for property owners, and aiming to help businesses and the central business district.

Project Occupancy is calling for property owners with vacant spaces and possible tenants to express interest in a flexible tenancy model.

A 10-year project in Newcastle found having vacant spaces occupied provided immediate benefits for the property owner as well as existing businesses in the area.

Shire of Collie president Sarah Stanley said they were seeking participants with strong ideas for projects that would bring life and activity to the area and not directly compete with nearby businesses.

"It could be a small or home-based business, or a creative community that is looking for an opportunity to take a major step forward in what they are doing," she said.

"If you have a long-held dream to open a shop, set up a studio or test your idea in the marketplace, Project Occupancy could be for you."

Shire of Collie chief executive officer David Blurton said they would act as an enabler and match-maker for the project.

"Shire staff will collect expressions of interest, matching possible tenants with suitable vacant properties and providing draft tenancy agreements that will act as a starting point for negotiation," he said.

"The Shire will also coordinate regular reviews with projects and property owners to monitor the success of the program."

An evaluation of the Renew Newcastle Project by the Centre of Full Employment and Equity found the project increased commercial lease payments, increased employment, and an overall reduction in criminal activity.

More importantly for many property owners, the presence of activity in an area grows the medium to long-term value of their property.

For potential tenants, access to a space to work from, to sell work, or to create is of immense value to creative projects and new businesses that typically begin without much money.

For more information, go to: www.collie.wa.gov.au/energise-collie-revitalising-collies-central-business-district/, or contact shire planner Robert Quinn on 9734 9000.