A ‘COVID Recovery Action Plan’ comprising new and enhanced existing events and activations is set to bring a “buzz” back to the Hastings city centre.
To further bolster activity there will also be free parking in the Hastings CBD for the month of July.
At their full council meeting today, Hastings district councillors approved the action plan, running from June through to February next year, aimed at stimulating activity and uplifting spirits.
Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said it had been a very tough time for the inner city business community due to COVID, and it was time to get people back into the city centre.
“With the help of our partners who will be working to deliver these events we want to rebuild and get back to where we were two years ago.
“This is going to be a fabulous few months to bring people into town and get them really excited about all the amazing stuff happening in Hastings.”
Among the initiatives in the plan were a Matariki Festival, an enhanced and extended Blossom Festival, another Taste Hastings Festival, and additions to traditional Christmas activations.
New events included The Apple Project, an art installation of apples placed in public spaces around the district, and a bombing competition in the Havelock North Village Pool to launch the summer swimming season.
The plan didn’t include the events planned for the reopening of the Municipal Building in August this year.
The proposal came at an estimated unbudgeted cost of $340,000, which would be secured from existing budget surpluses or redistribution, with no rating impact.
Mrs Hazlehurst said the partnership approach also applied to funding, with particular efforts being made to secure external funding or sponsorships.
“While we are taking the lead in developing this plan, our partners will be delivering it with our support and will also assist with sourcing funding to reduce the costs to council.”
A further consideration to enhance wellbeing was the issue of safety and security in the inner city, and there would be further investment to increase the presence of City Assist and add to the already extensive CCTV network.
At the meeting council was presented with a petition calling for there to be free parking in the city centre for the month of July to help boost activity.
This was approved and would apply to all CBD carparks, with people required to adhere to the time limits.
The resulting loss of revenue from parking fees of $51,000 for the month would be covered by the parking reserve, and Council would work closely with the Hastings City Business Association to ensure the month was well promoted.
“We have recently written to the businesses operating in the city centre to thank them for all their hard work and commitment to our city, to keep trading and to keep staff employed over the past two years,” said Mrs Hazlehurst.
“We are proud of our passionate and truly unique CBD community of exceptional people, who continue to invest in and improve our city; and with their support we will continue to make our CBD even greater.”
12 May 2022
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