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Bair not bare

Bright outlook for Leongatha’s Bair Street

A BOOST for Leongatha’s Bair Street is coming soon.

A building contract to reconstruct the shop space in the old Knight’s Garage, formerly Henrietta’s Cafe is currently being finalised.

Site owner Tony Westaway confirmed this with The Star last week.

“We are just about ready to finalise a building contract in there,” he said.

“I’m going to rebuild what was there. Around 1000m2 of shop space which will allow one shop at the front and one at the back.”

Building is set to start just after Christmas but Mr Westaway said he would like to have tenants lined up for the shops.

“Thi

s will not mean there will be any tenants in there which is a bit unfortunate,” he said.

“I would feel a lot more confident if there were some keen tenants or if the council was doing something about it.”

Owner of the former ‘Gatha Hardware building on the opposite side of the street Robert Clark said he is likely to be selling his building soon.

“I just want them to start building the CFA station and I think I will sell it,” he said.

“I have someone who will want to buy it.”

Mr Clark said the buyer will ‘presumably’ bring a business to the empty shop as well.

Leongatha Chamber of Commerce president Peter Watchorn was pleased when he heard about both cases.

“It would be great if that was happening and very encouraging and hopefully all goes through,” he said.

“If things like that are happening it is very encouraging for business.

“Hopefully this will be a win for the town and it will encourage investors to buy in the town.

“It is good for them and good for everyone.”

Mr Watchorn said retail on the whole is going well in Leongatha.

“Retail is a little bit buoyant at the moment with the new government,” he said.

“Hopefully the government is going to look after people with services and the cost of living so retail will keep improving.

“It might create something and spur people to come into these empty shops as well.”

This comes as council’s manager of economic development Ken Fraser told The Star of a new project to revitalise the town.

“We have received funding from the State Government to do a Street Life Program in Leongatha and that will be starting very soon,” he said.

“We have received more than $20,000 in funding for it.”

“We will be doing research and analysing trade now and looking at how things are going and then come up with some new innovative ideas.

Mr Fraser said they would be working in with the Leongatha Chamber of Commerce on this exciting project.

“Council will aim to get parts of the project straight into action.

“We know there are people out there who are full of great ideas and we want to look at those and we want to put some of those into practice straight away,” he said.

“This is a very practical based project and will help us incorporate the alternate route as well which will be a big thing for Bair Street.”

This coincides with the launch of the chamber’s new Try Local First campaign which will hopefully encourage locals to look to local retailers for their needs.

“We are launching now in the lead up to Christmas but we hope it will become a year round initiative,” he said.

The chamber has erected the town Christmas tree and festive decorations have been hung in Bair and McCartin streets. See The Star’s Christmas feature next week.

On the up: Leongatha Chamber of Commerce secretary Kathy Smith and president Peter Watchorn are launching the Try Local First campaign with other local businesses this week.

On the up: Leongatha Chamber of Commerce secretary Kathy Smith and president Peter Watchorn are launching the Try Local First campaign with other local businesses this week.

 

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=9293

Posted by on Nov 26 2013. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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