TRADER Darren Murphy and urban planning student Janine Coffey are among a group of people trying to transform Lyttleton Terrace and Queen, Myers and Mitchell streets into a market square.
The precinct is fully tenanted – a rarity in the Bendigo CBD – boasting 56 shops, 22 of which are food sellers. The group believes the conditions are ripe to develop a stronger sense of community and vibrancy in the precinct by fostering its culture and identity.
“We’re probably looking at it being a local life precinct because we have a lot of non-franchise businesses,” said Mr Murphy, owner of Bendigo Wholefoods and Wholefoods Kitchen.
But how to do it?
“Let’s Nut it Out”, a workshop to be held at La Trobe University on April 11, is aiming to equip central Victorian business and community leaders, entrepreneurs and “change makers” to better answer such questions surrounding their projects.
Social enterprise Make a Change is coordinating the skills development day, which director Karen Corr said was an opportunity for community members to get together with “like-minded and diverse people” focused on making a positive difference.
“We designed Let’s Nut It Out to connect people in a way that generates solutions and connections. By working with skilled mentors, people can get into the nuts and bolts of their initiative and gain momentum,” she said. “Let’s Nut It Out participants will have opportunity to discuss their project needs with skill mentors in financial management, engagement, project management or collaboration.”
Mrs Coffey said the program would help those involved in the market square project take important next steps.
“We need more momentum. Once we get (the traders’ ideas) down, we need to fund them. There are things out there that we need to know how to access,” she said. “It’s about being able to develop the network and use the resources that we have.”
Make a Change will run the workshop in partnership with La Trobe University, Keech Australia and Lisa Chesters MP. Tickets are $65. For information and to register, visit makeachange.org.au
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.