Taree’s heart gets a makeover

Thanks to an $11,000 grant from Enterprise & Training Company (ETC), the Tidy Up Taree project was able to take on its next phase the “Taree Civic Heart”.

Tidy Up Taree organiser, Graham Brown said without the grant he was unsure of how this would get off the ground.

“The ETC Community Support Fund made this come to fruition. We’ve now been able to revitalise this space to create a focal point for people to meet and relax,” Mr Brown said.

The community came together to help build the new civic space including the local men’s shed.

“The men’s shed came on board to build the seating. There was even an 88 year old man from the shed helping – he mainly built the steel fabrication for the chairs,” Mr Brown said.

The grant funds were used to purchase and install unique items to give it character as well as a welcoming feel. These included new coloured stones, artwork, sculptures from the local gallery, and aboriginal footprints to tell a story.

“We are still to complete some work again with the assistance of the men’s shed. This will include more seating in the general area of the civic heart,” Mr Brown said.

“It’s really changed the look and feel to the area.

“The positive vibe that has come out of the project is amazing. This one is very different to the early projects where we had mainly just cleaned. This project we’ve actually made something – we’ve created our heart.”

Local shop owners have also benefited from the project, with some commenting that they’ve had a 15% increase in sales during the Christmas period compared to previous years.

“We’ve heard that visitors that have come back to the area have asked local shop owners what has changed about Taree and why does it feel different? There has been a lot more people generally staying in and around the area,” Mr Brown said.

“Of course we would love more businesses to get involved and choose to do something completely different outside their shops like a chess table or similar.”

For more information about the Tidy Up Taree project and how you can get involved, please visit www.tidyuptaree.com.au

ETC Deputy Chair Lorraine Mouafi said it was a pleasure to be able to support the Tidy Up Taree project.

“The ETC Community Support Fund is designed to help organisations improve the social and economic development of local communities,” Ms Mouafi said.

“ETC is proud to be a not-for-profit company and we are confident the money we are donating will help make a more positive future for our community.

“Since 1989, ETC has placed over 53,000 Australians into jobs, trained more than 25,000 people, helped over 36,000 small businesses to start-up and grow, and contributed in excess of $25 million to the local communities in which we operate.”

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