Heritage a focus for CBD revitalisation

A Heritage Development evening with a focus on Oamaru CBD was held last week, as part of the Oamaru CBD revitalisation programme. Photo supplied.

The first of 5 CBD revitalisation projects kicked off on Wednesday last week with a Heritage Development evening hosted at the Business Hive Oamaru.

Waitaki District Council’s Business Attraction Manager, Mel Jones says: “This was the first of our Ōamaru CBD revitalisation projects to go live and was certainly 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. Encouraging adaptive re-use of buildings was a key theme and The Business Hive a great location to showcase best-in-class work. There was plenty of mixing and mingling afterwards.”

The event was collaboratively and voluntarily run by Heritage New Zealand, Neighbourhood Support, the Ōamaru Blue Penguin Colony and Waitaki District Council. The event is 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.”

Attendee and Mayor Gary Kircher highlighted why investing in our heritage buildings is crucial: “Heritage is important for Waitaki so retaining it and giving it new life is a great way to protect what we have”

Speakers keen to inspire heritage development and adaptive reuse were building owners and heritage development experts from Dunedin Stephen Macknight and Marcus Wainwright.

Both commented on the truly unique heritage areas we have in Oamaru and the opportunities this presents. This was balanced by practical advice around compliance and funding from Susie Farminer of Heritage New Zealand and WDC’s Heritage Advisor Mark Smith.

In attendance were building owners, experts in heritage trade, business owners and elected members.

We look forward to continuing this conversation around enabling heritage development and invite contributions from all members of the community.

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