Objectives

The main aim of Create, Innovate Gosford City is "to fill the empty spaces, revitalise the city and to bring back activity into Gosford CBD" (Draft Business Model 2010, 1).

The primary focus of the initiative is on the rejuvenation of Gosford and the Draft Business Model anticipates:

this project will also attract visitors and residents to the city to see the unique products these [cultural] industries are offering, therefore increasing foot traffic, consumer spending and retail mix in the Gosford City Centre.

The objectives are to:

  • Convert unused buildings into more attractive buildings
  • Create incentives for property owners to invest in their vacant/disused properties
  • Increase employment and training opportunities for young people
  • Decrease vandalism and graffiti on empty shops
  • Provide artists, cultural organisations and creative industries with a low-cost opportunity to pursue their businesses and exhibit their work
  • Promote and nurture new and emerging creative and innovative industries

The emphasis is on rejuvenating the city centre. Unlike Renew Newcastle, which was driven by local cultural leaders, the Gosford project has had a strong business focus and Deborah Lowndes explained this as:

At the end of the day, I keep coming back to this, it's a business, it's a model of a business that is going to end up benefitting the creative industries and benefitting the city.

Mel Laws says the initiative provides an opportunity to build social capital within a city where "that's just not there. I believe that it will drive the shift to a much more sustainable and connected place."

While the project focuses on the rejuvenation of the CBD, Mel feels it also offers the opportunity to re-imagine elements in the city and incorporate its history.  She describes how the Committee has tried to work out a way that Create, Innovate Gosford City can:

sit alongside [what exists] and be its own flavour » rather than trying to solve a social problem by replacing it with something different, if you accept it's there and take advantage of it within what you're trying to do with creative industry - so that [the project] doesn't undermine, or clash with that strong culture that is already there.