WE can only wish Praba Kulasegaram all the best as he begins a project to bring new life to the Kelso Centrepoint complex.
Mr Kulasegaram has already invested in the future of Kelso as the owner of the Kelso FoodWorks supermarket and now he has upped the ante by taking over the complex.
It’s a bold investment but one that stands to reap benefits for the entire community, if he can pull it off.
Mr Kulasegaram said he had spent $300,000 on improving his supermarket since he had owned it and estimates he will spend more than $500,000 in total once the improvements to the complex and the new shops are taken into account.
Kelso Centrepoint is certainly a tired looking complex and one that bears some of the scars of a troubled suburb.
For decades it has been a hangout for teenagers, too many of them looking for entertainment in all the wrong places.
But it is also an important community hub and a vital piece of infrastructure for the suburb. The supermarket and newsagency are mainstays of the complex and have proven to be solid businesses with a real interest in the future of the suburb.
And Kelso is changing.
Suburbs east of the Macquarie River will be among the fasts growing areas of Bathurst over the next 20 years and there will be new homes, new people and new wealth coming into the area.
That means opportunities for local businesses who will have a ready-made market right at their doorstep.
But there also a considerable amount of work under way to find something for those bored teenagers to do to keep them out of trouble.
Bathurst Regional Council, in particular, has been working hard to boost the Kelso Hub on Bonnor Street and has lodged a development application to carry out $200,000 worth of renovations.
Apart from the physical changes there are also new programs to occupy all ages and support them as they find their way in the world.
Sometimes, a suburb – like some people – just needs a bit of a break to put the past behind it and to move into the future.
A new lease of life for the Kelso Centrepoint shopping centre might not be just a winning investment for Mr Kulasegaram but also the broader Kelso community.
Let’s dare to dream.