Victoria Street Business Association has been advocating for investments into Victoria street and surrounding area for many years. Today we welcomed the Victorian Government’s $9 million investment in North Richmond to improve the situation for our traders and communities around us.
We have worked with a local member of parliament Richard Wynne last year for a revitalising project to ensure that Richmond Bridge Road and Victoria Street are properly geared toward local communities. We want some of the money to go to ensure our visitor experience better like footpaths, sittings, street furniture and lighting. We want to have separated amenities for people who use drugs so they can be separated with people who visit, work and do business in the street.
Victoria Street and Bridge Road are the beating hearts of the North Richmond community. A place where people could meet, do their shopping and go to a restaurant. They need to have places to sit with trees providing shade and an aesthetic streetscape with well-designed buildings that draw people along the streets. While it is difficult to ask businesses and landowners to reinvest in the street give the trading conditions. This is an important step that may encourage more investments for the street including private companies to develop unusable assets into business and community spaces. We can work with the council and government agencies map out pockets of space that people used most to see if there is a potential development. This money can fund identified pilot projects while developing a public realm plan for different areas in North Richmond. We ask the council to invest in this area. We need to examine how our streets currently operate and look for way for them to be redesigned in line with social distancing and create more public space.
We now have that investment focusing on improving our public spaces, including high streets. We ask for Victoria street renewal so we can ensure our street become the heart of our communities again. In coming weeks and months we would work with the government, City of Yarra and stakeholders to include the revitalisation of North Richmond. We want opportunities for small businesses that directly affected with drugs and now with Covid19 to get better.