Ipswich Central small businesses jump at chance for a facelift

19 November 2021

Enthusiasm has grown for Ipswich City Council’s Façade Improvement Program, which has seen a 25 percent increase in small business applications in comparison with the Pilot Façade Improvement Program which took place between 2020-21.

For the second year in a row council has committed $100,000 to the Façade Improvement Program, with 12 applicants now selected to receive dollar for dollar matched funding up to $15,000 for the 2021-22 round.

The Façade Improvement Program is designed to provide an incentive to support businesses in improving their facades, as part of the overall strategy to stimulate wider investment by private business and property owners in the eligible Ipswich Central areas.

Mayor Teresa Harding said council has seen an impressive increase in applicants this year.

“Last year’s pilot program was a huge success, so it was an easy decision to run this program again in 2021,” Mayor Harding said.

“The eagerness of local small businesses who have put their hand up to participate in the second round of this program has seen it oversubscribed.

We’re thrilled to see so many Ipswich Central businesses jumping on board for the second year running.

“The successful applicants have engaged local contractors from the Ipswich area to complete the works on their facades, creating a ripple effect for the local economy.

“For every dollar that council invests in this program the economic benefit is threefold.

“I recognise the effort businesses put into their applications showing benefit to not just the individual business but the enhancement of Ipswich Central streets.”

Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee Chair and Division 3 Councillor Marnie Doyle said the program is a key initiative of the Ipswich Central revitalisation project and it was great to see both new and established businesses receive funding.

“One recipient is The Rusty Nail, Ipswich’s newest hospitality business, and it was wonderful for council to be able to assist their renovation of an empty jewellery store into a craft beer, wine, and tapas bar on Nicholas Street,” Cr Doyle said.

“The Hoe-Inn, another successful recipient, has been operating on Limestone Street for 25 years and to be able to offer financial assistance to refresh their shop frontage was very pleasing.”

Division 3 Councillor Andrew Fechner noted that the Façade Improvement Program dollar-for-dollar matched funding of up to $15,000 is significant investment for both council and local businesses.

“Council is grateful to the businesses who have invested their own money to help improve our shared streetscape,” Cr Fechner said.

“I am eager to see these creative and beautiful projects come to life as they improve the atmosphere and experience for everyone who visits Ipswich Central.”

The successful applicants were notified this week and have committed to completing all works by 30 June 2022.

This year’s program was focused on improvements that contribute to the walkability of Ipswich streets and in turn supporting the improvement of the community’s health and environment.