NEW and growing businesses on Bathurst’s urban outskirts are a welcome sign, according to Bathurst Business Chamber president Angus Edwards.
The expansion of the Westpoint shopping centre at Windradyne and the development of the Gateway precinct at Kelso were two of Bathurst’s big business stories of 2018 as investment flowed to the city’s fringes.
And Mr Edwards said both moves were good to see.
“I think it's always a positive step to see large-scale investment in Bathurst,” he said.
Westpoint, he said, was “ready for expansion” given its existing businesses and the population in Bathurst’s west.
The satellite shopping centre’s $10 million redevelopment, which is due to be complete in June, has introduced new businesses including a childcare centre and Domino's franchise and will involve an expansion of the existing IGA supermarket.
At the Gateway development in the east, meanwhile, a new KFC outlet, a Shell service station and another new childcare centre are due to open in the second half of this year, while further lots are being opened up for subsequent buyers.
A 312-lot subdivision north of the Bathurst Supa Centre, not far from the Gateway development, was recently approved, with conditions, by Bathurst Regional Council.
“The bulky goods expansion to the east is, again, a really positive step for Bathurst,” Mr Edwards said.
“It shows confidence in the local community and, even though there are some empty sites, such as the old Masters site, I think it's really a case of building it and having the sites ready, the space ready, and businesses will come to town and take advantage of that.”
In terms of the number of empty shops in the CBD, Mr Edwards said it could be better but it also could be a lot worse.
“There are a few more empty shops than I would like to see, but, compared to other places, we're doing pretty well,” he said.