Community thanked for Majestic Square redevelopment ideas

Published on 30 June 2020

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Whanganui District Council and Mainstreet Whanganui would like to thank the community for their feedback and ideas on plans to redevelop Majestic Square.

“We are especially indebted to Ellen Young, Mainstreet Whanganui, and Andrew and Carolyn Tripe for their work in leading consultation on this project,” Councillor Helen Craig, Chair of the Town Centre Regeneration Committee, says.

The Town Centre Regeneration Plan, developed in 2016, included draft plans to makeover Majestic Square to encourage greater use by the public.

“It’s the heart of the city centre and could provide an even more exciting place for all ages to gather and enjoy the city,” Cr Craig says. “However, plans to redevelop the square have been put on hold due to the uncertainty around the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The committee thought about the timetable and process for implementing any changes and has agreed to postpone the project.  

“As a community project, most of the costs were to be secured through fundraising with some seed-funding from the Council. The impact of COVID-19 will put a strain on funding sources for the immediate future. There are also compelling arguments to integrate the design with the future Pukenamu Queen’s Park landscaping plan.

“In addition, the old Farmers building which borders Majestic Square has recently been sold and it will be important to understand the future use of the building before finalising the Majestic Square plan,” Cr Craig says.

Ellen Young, Town Centre Regeneration Project Manager, says, “Before the COVID-19 shutdown we were gathering more information and ideas from the community about what they’d like to see at Majestic Square. The information and feedback gathered will remain valid for when the project is restarted.

“However, some changes have occurred at Majestic Square including repainting the square’s railings and stage backdrop, and installing decorative lanterns in the trees.”

Des Warahi, Mainstreet Wanganui General Manager, says, “On behalf of Mainstreet I would like to thank the Mainstreet Board, team and all those people who contributed to the consultation on Majestic Square.

“This year Mainstreet has repainted the seats and worked with the regeneration group on installing the decorative lanterns in the trees in the square. Our focus is to bring the central business district back to pre COVID-19 lockdown levels for businesses, the community and visitors.

“With the move to Alert Level 1, Mainstreet is preparing the CBD for the upcoming events year starting with Heritage Month and the Festival of Cultures.

“COVID -19 has come out of the blue for all of New Zealand and I agree that our focus now must be the support and recovery of the business in the CBD, which has seen Mainstreet launch the AROHA LOCAL strategy,” Des Warahi says.