Cessnock City Council receives $3.65 million from Restart NSW Resources for Regions Fund to finance Kurri Kurri Commercial Centre Masterplan

FUNDING: Cessnock City Council senior strategic planner Iain Rush, Mayor Bob Pynsent, Hunter Region Business Hub general manager Kerry Hallett, Towns with Heart's Toby Thomas and Ward D councillor Rod Doherty in Kurri Kurri CBD.
FUNDING: Cessnock City Council senior strategic planner Iain Rush, Mayor Bob Pynsent, Hunter Region Business Hub general manager Kerry Hallett, Towns with Heart's Toby Thomas and Ward D councillor Rod Doherty in Kurri Kurri CBD.

Kurri Kurri CBD is set for a facelift thanks to a $3.65 million grant from the NSW Government.

Cessnock City Council was successful in its application to the government's Restart NSW Resources for Regions Fund to commence the Kurri Kurri Commercial Centre Masterplan.

Council will also contribute around $520,000 to the project, bringing the total funding to $4.17 million for the Stage 1 works.

The works include upgrades to Lang Street, street tree planting, landscaping, footpaths, pedestrian crossings, street furniture, shelters, lighting and signage.

The masterplan was developed in consultation with the community to meet the evolving needs of Kurri Kurri residents.

Cessnock Mayor Bob Pynsent said it was a significant amount of funding for a vital project.

"These upgrades will retain the character of the Kurri Kurri commercial centre whilst catering for increased growth in the surrounding areas," he said.

"I look forward to seeing the plans and designs."

Cessnock Ward D councillor Rod Doherty said concerns were raised in 2010 by business people and then-councillor Graham Smith about the neglect and deterioration of the Kurri Kurri CBD.

"Footpaths were constructed of various mediums including concrete, tar, pavers and in a couple of places in Barton Street they didn't exist at all," Cr Doherty said.

The Liberal councillor said Barton Street footpath was later tar-sealed as a stop gap measure, but that he would like to see a common theme throughout the CBD in these works.

He said he had seen CBDs that had attracted more business after undergoing revitalisation.

"When you start seeing places done up, it really helps," he said.

Kurri Kurri Business Chamber president and Hunter Region Business Hub general manager Kerry Hallett said it was great to see works going ahead after the community consultation in 2017.

"Kurri Kurri has the largest employment lands in the LGA," Ms Hallett said.

"We have to start looking like we're important.

"We don't want people going into Maitland or Cessnock. We want to keep them here.

"I think it will be good for the town and the visitors as well."

The Kurri Kurri project was one of 11 infrastructure projects awarded funding under round six of the NSW Government's Resources for Regions program earlier this year.

The Resources for Regions program recognises the contribution mining-related communities make to the state.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the program helped to strengthen local infrastructure and diversify economies in those communities.

"This planning and subsequent works will provide better transport links, new recreational opportunities and improved accessibility for both locals and visitors, as well as increase the attractiveness of Kurri Kurri as a place to invest," Mr Barilaro said.

Council will now undertake an extensive design and consultation process. The work is planned to begin next year.