Renewing Moreton: getting creative in empty commercial premises

Renew Moreton Region has been set up in south-east Queensland to make empty buildings available for creative initiatives in the region. Moreton Bay Regional Council has provided $5000 in seed funding for the initiative, based on Renew Newcastle, and so far three properties in the Redcliffe CBD have been made available by their owners.

Janice Charlish, Renew Moreton Region Steering CommitteeSteering Group member and President of Moreton Bay Arts Council, Janice Charlish said, "The purpose of Renew Moreton Region is to find artists, cultural projects and creative businesses to use and maintain buildings in the region that are currently vacant, disused, or awaiting redevelopment."

In October 2012, the founder of Renew Newcastle Marcus Westbury ran a local workshop where there was enough interest to form the Renew Moreton Region Steering Group which held its first meeting in November. It will be run by a not-for-profit company with a board of directors.

Commercial property owners can make a building available to Renew Moreton Region on either a fixed term basis (until a future redevelopment for example) or on a rolling basis (typically 30 days at a time) until a commercial tenant is found. In the interim, Renew Moreton Region will undertake basic maintenance, ensuring the building is an asset rather than a liability to the streetscape surrounding it.

Renew Moreton Region will hold comprehensive insurances and will work with property owners to find budding creative enterprise, cultural activity or community groups to act as custodian of the property.

"These 'custodians' will offer unique, local products which don’t compete with existing businesses, but provide a point of difference for the shopping precinct," says Janice Charlish.

The first projects are expected to start-up in Redcliffe mid-year, but there are already plans for activity in Strathpine and Caboolture.

For more information contact Janice Charlish.

Image: Janice Charlish, Renew Moreton Region Steering Committee


Moreton Bay Regional Council
220 Gympie Road
Strathpine, QLD 4500