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Heritage a focus for CBD revitalisation

Waitaki App

Staff Reporter

05 July 2024, 12:59 AM

Heritage a focus for CBD revitalisationA captivated crowd listen to Susie Farminer of Heritage New Zealand talk, at an event held last week. Photo: Alex Regtien

A meeting to come up with ways to maximise the benefits of Ōamaru's heritage buildings, has kicked off a series of town centre revitalisation projects.

The event was held at The Business Hive last week, and was a voluntary collaboration between Heritage New Zealand, Neighbourhood Support, the Ōamaru Blue Penguin Colony and Waitaki District Council.

It was targeted at building and business owners, heritage trade experts, and councillors.

Invited speakers were Dunedin building owners and heritage development experts, Stephen Macknight and Marcus Wainwright, who are both keen to inspire heritage development and adaptive re-use.

Both commented on Ōamaru’s unique heritage areas and the opportunities they present.

This was balanced by practical advice around compliance and funding from Susie Farminer of Heritage New Zealand and council heritage advisor Mark Smith.

Council business attraction manager Mel Jones says it was “a stimulating evening”.

“Encouraging adaptive re-use of buildings was a key theme and The Business Hive a great location to showcase best-in-class work,” she says.

The event was part of a larger strategy to “revitalise Ōamaru CBD ensuring it is a thriving centre of our district that is attractive for residents, visitors and businesses”. It is one of five projects in the pipeline.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher says investing in our heritage buildings is crucial for the district.

“So retaining it and giving it new life is a great way to protect what we have.”

The conversation around enabling heritage development is an ongoing one, and the council invites contributions from all members of the community, Mel says.