Going creative: latest drive to revive our main street

Photo of author

Renew on Q is the latest campaign to breathe life into Campbelltown’s main street.

Once the thriving heart of a prosperous town, Queen Street has fallen on hard times over the past 20 years.

There are plenty of reasons for this sad decline, but Campbelltown Council has decided to look ahead to a better future for Queen Street.

In the past few years there have been several initiatives aimed at bringing people back to the main street, but the huge size of the task means it’s a work in progress.

A quick walk up and down Queen Street and the numerous For Lease signs on shopfronts tells the story.

Thing is, Renew on Q is a $200,000 campaign with a difference.

Landlords allow up-and-coming creative traders to use their vacant shops, with a rolling 30-day rent-free licence negotiated by Renew Australia, who play a kind of matchmaker role in Renew on Q.

This gives the start-ups time to test new ideas for a commercial market without committing to a lengthy commercial lease agreement.

Last Friday, Mayor George Greiss, Renew Australia CEO Angela Simons and members of her Sydney team celebrated two new “creative’’ businesses opening up in the Queen Street precinct.

Candle makers Jemima Webb and Jarred Bolton opened Evora Cove in the centre Spotlight Plaza, where the new Campbelltown city library will soon be opened.

The other was sisters Ruth and El Fattal’s Haute Couture, which supplies custom made bridal dresses and evening wear, and is located in the Skygardens Arcade.

Ms Webb told the South West Voice the couple were happy with how things were going so far, although business was a little slow so far in the new year.

“We are looking forward to the increase in foot traffic the library will bring when it is relocated here,’’ Ms Webb said.

“This initiative has granted us the chance to establish a brick-and-mortar retail presence in the heart of Campbelltown CBD, enabling us to forge closer connections with the local community and mutually beneficial partnerships with other local businesses.

“The experience has proven invaluable in fostering the growth of our business and enhancing our visibility.’’

Jemima Webb and Jarred Bolton with Mayor Greiss and Renew Australia ceo Angela SImons. TOP: Ruth Fattal in her Skygardens Arcade store. Photos by South West Voice Photography.

Ruth Fattal said the sisters were excited to be a part of Renew on Q.

“We invite everyone to join us for our still life drawing and styling workshop on March 3.

“Pop by our concept store for a one-of-a-kind artisanal piece and boutique experience in the heart of Campbelltown.”

Mayor George Greiss pointed out that council were “pleased to be able to offer such a wonderful initiative to not only our local creatives and entrepreneurs, but to the whole community’’.

“This program will help activate vacant spaces on Queen Street and provide new options for people visiting our city centre to enjoy,” he said.

“Starting a business is never easy, and knowing when to take the leap and transition that business to a commercial setting can be a difficult decision.

“Partnering with Renew Australia, we’re able to offer an alternative approach for local people to take the next step with their business.

“This program wouldn’t be possible without the support from the local landowners who have made spaces available that might otherwise be inaccessible for some smaller enterprises.”

LJ Hooker Commercial Macarthur have been integral in Renew on Qq, making several of their vacant Queen Street properties available.

“The Renew on Q project is an excellent initiative for the Campbelltown CBD, and in particular Queen Street,’’ says sales and leasing director Darren Zammit, who attended last Friday’s celebration.

Anyone who is a small business or creative looking to trial a retail space, rent-free can fill out an Expression of Interest form here.

For more information, contact Renew on Q project manager Sarah Wang on 0478 075 125 or via email campbelltown@renewaustralia.org

Leave a Comment