A trial project to improve foot traffic and beautify streets in the Bathurst CBD is starting to bear plenty of fruit, with a host of public art installations, seating and pedestrian-friendly markings now in place.
The $767,884 Bathurst Streets as Shared Spaces Pilot project has been largely concentrated on the CBD block encompassed by William, Howick, George and Church streets, and is focused on trialling select areas for public art, foot traffic and hosting local events.
So far, the project has seen Church Street converted into a more pedestrian-friendly environment with removeable bollards to close the street for events, plant boxes for trees, seating options in Ribbon Gang Lane and public art on Bathurst Post Office and the old TAFE building.
Bathurst mayor Robert Taylor said the trial project has opened up more areas in the CBD for people to explore and relax within.
"The project has opened up the CBD to more foot traffic, with a direct route from William Street to George Street now easily accessible," Cr Taylor said.
"It's a great concept, and full credit to the state government for seeing merit in this project."
Cr Taylor said the trial will also improve the capabilities for CBD-based events such as the Bathurst Winter Festival and help local businesses attract more customers.
"We've got the Church Bar set to reopen soon, which will be the most obvious business that will benefit from these spaces, and there's also the numerous CBD events that can now enjoy greater public access," he said.
"Once more concrete plans are in place for the TAFE building, we might unlock greater potential for shared CBD spaces."
Deputy premier and Bathurst MP Paul Toole said the trial is designed to instil local pride and provide more welcoming public spaces for visitors.
"When you start to see the CBD opening up with more green spaces and public art locations, it's important for the community as a whole," Mr Toole said.
"Some of these projects will be temporary, but it certainly shows there's potential for these spaces to grow."
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