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Plans to ‘Re-Vibe’ Empty Inner City Shops

Plans to ‘Re-Vibe’ Empty Inner City Shops

Rotorua Lakes Council (RLC) is encouraging inner city landlords and local artists to attend a forum next week to gauge interest in an empty shops enhancement project.

Re-vibe Rotorua’ is a council initiative promoting the concept of ‘pop-ups’ - short-term use of vacant inner city premises and other spaces for creative and community uses.

A meeting is being held at 1pm on Thursday (30 April) at Te Runanga Tea Rooms to further explore the concept, and anyone interested is welcome to attend.

RLC senior lead advisor, Tania Short, said ‘Re-vibe Rotorua’ was a creative response to empty inner city shop spaces, while also supporting the development of a visible and thriving creative sector in Rotorua.

The project also complements the council’s Rotorua 2030 goal around revitalisation of the inner city area.

“Artists need spaces to work in, but most work from home to save costs. Commercial buildings that would otherwise be ideal artist studios are charged out at market rates which tend to be prohibitive for artists,” said Ms Short.
“The whole idea of a 'renew' project is to make use of spaces that are temporarily empty. It's not about trying to create permanent arts centres or enduring infrastructure; it's about reusing and recycling temporarily empty spaces to create hubs for creative activity in the knowledge that creative activity is a great vehicle for urban renewal.

Ms Short said she wanted to hear from inner city landlords prepared to provide their empty shops for the short-term on ‘meanwhile lease’ terms. She also wanted to hear from home-based artists and creative industries specialists who would like to take their enterprise idea to the next level and test it in an inner city store environment.

Anyone interested can attend the ‘Re-vibe Rotorua’ meeting at Te Runanga Tea Rooms at 1pm on 30 April,

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