City centre comes alive thanks to NPDC funding

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Some of New Plymouth’s landmark buildings are looking sharp and more could be in line for a makeover thanks to a boost to NPDC’s Main Street Building Fund.

The old ASB building on the corner of Devon Street and Currie Street and the Websters Building on the same block have both been restored to their former glory with a fresh coat of paint.

In between, the Flora and Co Indoor Plant Studio building is blooming with its new green frontage. 

Property and business owners in the centres of New Plymouth, Waitara and Inglewood can apply to the Main Street Building Fund for help to freshen up their frontages and spruce-up their signs.

After this year’s fund of $50,000 was invested, NPDC has decided to top it up with another $150,000 as part of the Back On Our Feet $20 million relief package to help the District’s economy recover from Covid-19.

“This is a great way to keep our town centres vibrant and give a helping hand to shops, restaurants and cafes. Beautiful buildings and town centres help bring in people and keep the tills ringing, and the upgrades also help keep tradies in work,” says NPDC Deputy Chief Executive Kelvin Wright.

“This extra funding will help to transform business at street level, and these are mostly small and medium-sized businesses, which are the lifeblood of our community.”

Property owner John Shewry says the way buildings look is a measure of the success of our town and city centres and the facelift was making the high street look more attractive and prosperous. “Many businesses have had a hard year this year, so it’s great to see NPDC helping to renew and reinvigorate our main streets,” says Mr Shewry.

Natalia Saunders, who owns City Barbers in the Websters Building, says the makeover has definitely helped drive more customers in. “We’ve had lots of people coming in and commenting on it – everybody’s loving it, which is awesome.” 

The new funding is open to applications until 19 February 2021. For more information, click here or call NPDC on 06-759 6060 for more details.

As well as the street-smart funding, NPDC’s $20 million Back On Our Feet package includes:

  • $8m in rates relief with the deferment of payments for six months or a year.
  • $7.5m to expand the Home Energy Scheme, providing work for tradies to make residents’ homes warmer and greener.
  • $1.3m on cutting fees for local businesses including restaurants, hairdressers, cafes and builders.
  • $450,000 in extra funding for grassroots groups.
  • $165,000 for small and medium businesses via Venture Taranaki SME grant
  • $90,000 community and commercial rent relief.
  • Continuing to ‘Buy local’ and giving Taranaki contractors and suppliers an advantage when bidding for NPDC works.