Future challenges

The first year of Create, Innovate Gosford City has seen the following key goals achieved:

  • A Steering Committee has been set up
  • Funding has been applied for and received
  • The first projects moving into shopfronts in early 2011

Having consolidated its planning and developed a structure, Create, Innovate Gosford City is ready to become a functioning public program.

Challenges that lie ahead include:

  • Securing long-term and sustainable funding. The initiative only gained support from Arts NSW on the condition of matching funding from Gosford City Council. The Committee may need to look outside of traditional local and state government cultural funding and engage more widely with the business community for future solutions.
  • Local business valuing the project. The workshops about to be undertaken are designed to begin this process; however, maintaining ongoing, open dialogue to build trust and reciprocal objectives will be crucial. It will be important to ensure any proposed use of pop-up spaces will not conflict with nearby, existing tenants.
  • Engaging the creative community. While the creative industries database has been developed, the project is yet to roll out its communication strategy with this sector. Also it is a cause for concern that there are no representatives from the local creative community currently on the Steering Committee.
  • Recruiting a suitable project co-ordinator. As has been shown with Deborah Lowndes' role during the start-up phase, recruiting the right person with the right administrative, marketing and relationship management skills in the co-ordinator role will be of crucial importance for the first year of the project.
  • Attracting foot traffic to the CBD. One of the major claims of the initiative is that it will 'revitalise' the city centre, which will be largely measured by the increase in foot traffic and commercial activity during 2011. Key success factors will be evidence of the local community embracing and adopting the project and the ability of the arts projects placed in shops to quickly build markets or to bring their existing niche markets with them for their residency.
  • Promoting the project in the Central Coast. Jason van Genderen said:

I think the old adage 'build it, and they will come' has been the big downfall in concepts like this» it would work in a metropolitan area such as Sydney, because there's a lot more spaces where there is more organic traffic that will pull into these sorts of things and probably there's a bit more infrastructure set up where people are looking out for those sorts of things in the community. Locally, because it's quite a new concept, I think it will need a bit of promotion to actually get off the ground and get rolling.