The Burdekin Shire Council is investigating a project which may help revitalise the Home Hill central business district.
Council’s Economic and Community Development Manager Tony Vaccaro said the project involved giving a start-up enterprise a helping hand while filling empty commercial space in Home Hill.
“The new venture would give start-up businesses and community groups a kick start with short term commercial space and fill currently vacant or disused shops in the main street,” he said.
“The idea is to find start-up creative businesses, artists, cultural projects and community groups to use and maintain these buildings on short-term leases until their enterprise becomes commercially viable and be able to pay rent, or another tenant is identified or the premises are redeveloped.
“The program will rely on the support of property owners who have vacant buildings to make them available for this project and it will be up to the tenants to keep the space clean and presentable as part of their commitment to revitalising the CBD.”
Mr Vaccaro said the project would only be available to new start-up businesses and not available to existing businesses that already rented commercial property in Home Hill.
“We envisage the property owners would be responsible for making the premises safe and tenants would be responsible for costs such as water, electricity, phone/internet connection and rental, contents and public liability insurance and any fit out costs,” he said.
“It’s possible that people who currently run their businesses from home would be interested in this offer.
“This could give them an opportunity to expand their business by giving it exposure to the main highway and the tourists that come to Home Hill.”
Mr Vaccaro said the Council would begin its investigations by contacting the owners of the empty shops and putting the idea to them.
“This could take some time, but I would hope this venture gets enough support for it to go ahead,” he said.
“The project has the potential to bring enthusiasm, excitement and discovery back to the streets of Home Hill.
“It has the potential to transform the CBD from a sleepy sugar town to a bustling ‘creative hub’ and bring long-term increased value to property.”
Interested shop owners or potential businesses can leave their details with the Economic Development Department on 4783 9831.