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New Gatha hub

LEONGATHA’s Bair Street could be home to a community hub featuring a library, a community centre, meeting spaces, an information centre and a cafe.

A proposal for the possible project was put forward at the South Gippsland Shire Council community presentation session last Wednesday.

Ailsa Brown, who has a proprietary interest in properties at 37 to 43 Bair Street, told council it would be the ideal location for a community hub, combining a modern library and community house.

Ms Brown said she could “guarantee flexibility in negotiations with council to facilitate its community hub development strategy”.

“This could involve purchase or lease options with terms very favourable to council’s requirement to manage budgets and cash flow,” she said.

“I want to make this solution work.”

The lease for the current library building in Michael Place ends in 2022.

Ms Brown said it was necessary to start planning for the future of the library now.

“The existing (library) building is inadequate to provide the space required for a modern library,” she said.

“The South Gippsland Shire Council municipal precinct study from August 2015 recommended the development of community spaces incorporating a library, information centre, exhibition space and meeting spaces.”

Ms Brown said the Leongatha Community House, currently located on Bruce Street, has inadequate access, space and facilities and low public awareness.

“If 37 to 43 Bair Street was developed into a community hub, public access could be provided to the building from the redeveloped VicTrack land car park,” she said.

“The location (on Bair Street) would bring people into the centre of town. We can’t have a vibrant centre if we don’t have people.”

The proposed location on Bair Street has around 50 metres of street frontage and is largely unoccupied.

A pop up cafe is currently operating in one of the spaces.

“We want to bring (Leongatha) back to life, which is unlikely to happen while the property on Bair Street remains as it is,” Ms Brown said.

“If this building was changed into a community hub, it could change the entire character of the town.”

Cr Meg Edwards said she was keen to see how the idea could progress.

“There are obviously numbers for us to work through,” she said.

Grand idea: South Gippsland Shire Councillor Don Hill chats with Ailsa Brown, who has proposed converting the empty buildings at 37 to 43 Bair Street, Leongatha into a community hub.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=24734

Posted by on Apr 24 2018. 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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