Mayor wants empty shops filled and drawing visitors
A PRO-ACTIVE inner-city venture is aiming to let fledgling firms get down to business in the Ipswich CBD and stimulate the city's heart.
Activate Ipswich is a partnership targeted at giving start-up enterprises a helping hand while also filling empty commercial space to help boost foot traffic in the Ipswich CBD.
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said Activate Ipswich was a new venture to give start-up businesses and community organisations a kick start with short-term commercial space and if successful, would help boost the region's economy.
"Activate Ipswich is an innovative way to find short and medium-term uses for buildings in the Ipswich CBD that are currently vacant, disused or awaiting redevelopment," Cr Pisasale said.
"The program aims to find start-up businesses, artists, cultural projects and community groups to use and maintain these buildings on short-term leases until their enterprise becomes commercially viable to be able to pay rent, or another tenant is identified or the premises are redeveloped."
Cr Pisasale said enterprises would be selected for their ability to generate activity in buildings and foot traffic in the area.
"Rather than looking at empty space, we want to see more people coming into the Ipswich CBD and exciting new enterprises and organisations are a great way to generate this," he said.
"Activate Ipswich will be officially launched in partnership with Ipswich City Square Centre managers Knight Frank, who already have two premises ready to be part of the program."
Activate Ipswich will rely on the support of property owners who have vacant buildings in Ipswich to make them available for this project.
It will be up to the tenants to keep the space clean and presentable as part of their commitment to revitalising the area.
Cr Pisasale said property owners would have the final say on selecting the enterprise to be housed.
"Activate Ipswich will work with property owners and participants to ensure that a building is matched to an appropriate use and adds value to the building and its surroundings," he said.