THE next step, and one of the biggest, in revitalising the Tamworth suburb of Coledale was taken yesterday with the announcement groundwork has begun on the $10 million NOW project.
The project’s name, NOW, is an acronym of its key elements – neighbourhood, opportunities and working together – and is funded through the Federal government’s Building Better Regional Cities program which aims to create well-planned and attractive neighbourhoods and increased affordable housing.
It will include extensions to Cole Rd to provide access from the suburb through to Gunnedah Rd, extensions to Cossa St through Centenary Park, improvements to street lighting and street beautification in selected areas, and the development of a regional youth centre.
New work is set to begin following the finalisation of the funding agreement between council and the Federal government.
It is expected the first $3 million instalment of the grant funds will be released to council in the coming weeks.
Tamworth-based Mitchel Hanlon Consulting began the necessary site surveys and studies in the area last week.
The site studies include a land survey, geo-technical, flora and fauna, flood analysis, Aboriginal archaeology, contamination and traffic studies which will be used to take the initial concept plan to the detailed design phase.
Expressions of interest have been sought for architectural design services for the proposed Tamworth Regional Youth Centre which will be located in Centenary Park.
Those expressions closed last Tuesday and the successful tenderer is likely to be announced soon.
The NOW initiative is based around the Urban Renewal Masterplan for Coledale, adopted by Tamworth Regional Council in November last year.
The Masterplan was developed jointly, over a number of years, by council, Housing NSW and members of the Coledale community.
Cr Murray said yesterday the initiative was an exciting opportunity for not only Tamworth, but the wider region.
“It involves a range of improvements to the streetscape, roads and environment of Coledale, as well as the construction of a new multi-million dollar regional youth centre and the creation of 58 new blocks for affordable housing,” he said.
Cr Murray said ultimately the revitalisation of the suburb would mean more people had the chance of achieving the great Australian dream of owning a home.
“The new youth centre will be a base for a range of health, education, cultural and recreation services to improve opportunities for the region’s young people,” he said.
Council’s director of planning and community services, Jackie Kruger, said council will continue to work closely with residents and the region’s youth through the next stages of the initiative.
She said there were a range of existing community building, health and social initiatives funded through the state government and non-government agencies that would work hand-in-hand with the Building Better Regional Cities project.
“We are working closely with the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Youth Opportunities Working Group so that resources and effort are optimised,” she said.