A new plan aims to bring more activity to the CBD, Eat The Street 2019
A new plan aims to bring more activity to the CBD, Eat The Street 2019

Plans to close CBD street to create vibrant urban hub

LISMORE council has floated the idea of closing a CDB street to traffic to create a community hub in the city's heart.

The Lismore Laneways Project concept design has been released, and it looks to build on the success of the Back Alley Gallery to provide a pedestrian-friendly space where music, dining and community activity can flourish.

Key to that plan was closing parts Carrington St in the CBD.

The concept design was developed by urban designers Vee Designs using ideas and input gathered through two community workshops with the registered Lismore Laneways Working Group.

This group was made up of local businesses and community members who provided ideas about Lismore's identity and a vision for how the council could make the laneways a place to spend time, dine, experience art, and participate in community activities.

"It was really fantastic to hear local community groups, traders and residents say they want to roll up their sleeves and help activate our inner-city spaces - and that will be key to making this project a success," mayor Isaac Smith said.

"This is a fully grant-funded project that is all about transforming our streets into shared spaces to promote community participation and drive economic activity. Our CBD and the way we use it needs to change in order to attract more pedestrians and shoppers.

"Transforming urban areas into community spaces is happening in regional cities and urban areas throughout the world with great success. This project will help to kickstart a new way of interacting with the city centre and create a central hub that is vibrant and full of activity and life."

The Lismore Laneways project was funded through a $510,000 NSW Government grant and includes improvements such as lighting, greenery, seating and new artworks.

Original designs also canvassed the idea of a Carrington Street closure and community responses ranged from very supportive to uncertain.

The council will undertake four-week trial closure of Carrington Street between Eggins Lane and County Lane in April/May 2021 to explore how the city centre can be used for events, dining and community activities. Access to Eggins Lane, County Lane, Larkin Lane and other sections of Carrington Street will be maintained at all times.

"We want to test this idea and see if a pedestrian-friendly space will help breathe new life into the heart of the city," Cr Smith said.

"We envisage the space being used for community activities - anything from music and dining to yoga and busking. We will be doing a call out later this year asking for people to get involved and help bring this space to life."

Mayor Smith urged local businesses and community members to get online, view the concept design and provide feedback.

The concept design and feedback survey can be accessed at the council's Your Say Lismore community engagement hub at yoursay.lismore.nsw.gov.au. Feedback is due by Friday, December 4.

The final Lismore Laneways Project will be rolled out from February to June 2021.

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