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City Hub Strategy Project Takes Major Step Forward

The Timaru City Hub Strategy Project has taken a major step forward with the appointment of project manager.

Design and engineering consultancy company Beca has been awarded the project management contract for the creation of the Strategy.

The $130,000, 10-month contract was awarded following an open tender process that attracted bidders from several national companies.

Timaru District Mayor Nigel Bowen, who chairs the City Hub strategy steering group, says that Beca will be combining their professional skills with direction from the community and local businesses to create the overarching strategy.

“What we used to think of as the Central Business District of the city has changed immeasurably over the past few years with changes in demographics and the ability of people to shop the world from their smartphone,” he said.

“Through this project we’re hoping to capture and enhance that factor-x that brings people to the city hub, giving us a high level strategy to ensure that the council is doing everything it can to ensure a space that continues to thrive in the long term.

“We’re going into this with no pre-conceived ideas, everyone in the steering group brings their own knowledge and experience to the table.

“For their part Beca bring a wealth of professional experience of the issues and an external perspective, but also a high degree of local knowledge as well.

“They will be working with immediate stakeholders and the wider community to ensure that this strategy is tailored to local needs.

“From a council perspective, the strategy will feed into our long term planning processes, which will help guide the next few decades of spending priorities in the city.

“However, at the end of the day, the Council is only part of the story, so the strategy will also provide a useful guide for local businesses and building owners to work in collaboration with us so everyone benefits from developments.

“We’re wanting this to be an open, inclusive and honest process, so we’ll be calling on everyone to take their opportunity to have their say and help shape their city.”

Beca Ltd Project Director, Johnny McFarlane, says that they are privileged to join the conversation that community and business owners have been having about the future of the Timaru City Centre.

“We’re very excited to be working with the leaders in the City to get change happening,” Mr. McFarlane says.

“We’re a local team specialising in urban regeneration and regional development. We understand these projects are not just ‘bricks and mortar’, but about taking a holistic approach to regeneration principles.

“It’s about enhancing Timaru, making it an even greater place to live, work, play, visit and invest for everyone – rural and urban.” Mr. McFarlane says.

“Defining the ‘Heart’ of Timaru and all of the advantages of the district and city, and how this can underpin the renewal, is a key area we are excited to be part of.”

The City Hub Strategy steering group was set up by the council in May 2019 to create the strategy. The members are: Mayor Nigel Bowen; Deputy Mayor Steve Wills; Councillor Allan Booth; Councillor Barbara Gilchrist; TDC Community Services Group Manager, Sharon Taylor; TDC Development Manager, Frazer Munro; TDC Transportation Team Leader, Simon Davenport; Chair of CBD Group, Nigel Gilkison; Managing Director Stockman Group, Shaun Stockman; and Te Arowhenua General Manager, Karl TeRaki.

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