Sprucing up our streets to support the local economy

08 July 2020

Building owners wanting to give their main street properties a spruce-up can now apply to a new $50,000 fund, thanks to NPDC. 

Councillors on 30 June topped up funding to keep the District’s main streets looking great, as part of the Back On Our Feet $20 million relief package to help our economy recover from Covid 19. The extra investment will enable building owners in New Plymouth, Waitara and Inglewood to get a helping hand when they upgrade their properties, helping to encourage more people to shop locally.

New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says the street-smart scheme is another great way NPDC is working to keep the central areas vibrant and lend a helping hand to shops, restaurants and cafes.

“Many local businesses are hurting and we need to help them weather the Covid-19 economic storm. This extra funding can help transform your business at street level, bring in punters and keep the tills ringing. Small and medium sized businesses are the lifeblood of our community and we want to help them get Back On Their Feet.”

The additional funding will go towards:

  • Helping building owners to look at outside, structural or interior works and keep work and money coming in for property professionals, architects, and surveyors. 
  • Helping to brighten up building fronts and signage.

In addition, owners of earthquake-prone buildings are allowed an extra 18 months to get engineering reports.  More than 70 per cent of people supported the main street building funding in an NPDC public survey on its Covid-19 relief package with close to a 1,000 pieces of feedback received.

Property owner John Shewry says the look of the buildings is a measure of the success of our CBDs and is key to attracting people.

“Many of our main street buildings could do with smartening up and this is the time to do it.  It’s a great opportunity to renew and reinvent what our main streets offer,” says Mr Shewry.

Owner of Flora and Co. Indoor Plant Studio Maree Wiki said the façade fund had helped pay for a new shop frontage in May, which boosted her business and given work to local designers and tradespeople.

“We’ve had a tremendous number of customers coming into our Devon Street shop since we gave our business a facelift – it’s really landmarked us in the CBD,” says Ms Wiki.

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 Insulation 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.
  • One hour of free parking in the city over winter until 30 September.

Find out more about the Main Street Building Funds.

New Plymouth CBD