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Armidale Mall enhancement project underway

Armidale’s Beardy Street Mall is receiving an exciting facelift thanks to a $423,100 grant from Round 1 of the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Fund.

Major aspects of the planned works include a total reconstruction of the stage, the refurbishment of the bus shelter in Faulkner Street and revitalised playgrounds.

Armidale Regional Council’s General Manager James Roncon said the revamp will also enhance the existing features of the Mall, and will freshen the space for the whole community to enjoy.

“Council has listened to community feedback and is excited to continue to provide a space that will encourage people to get out and about and enjoy our beautiful CBD,” said Mr Roncon.

“We’re already enticing people into the Mall with the pop-up projects and the new murals, and this will add another aspect of attraction for residents and tourists.”

The stage reconstruction will retain some elements of the original design, however, it will be reduced to a single level for better accessibility and for more efficient use of space. The stage will have an attractive weather-proof sound shell canopy to allow for use in all weather conditions and there will be a new electrical system installed to better cater for live music performances and stage lighting.

“Having a modern, centrally located facility that can be used as a community forum space for a diverse range of formal and informal use can bring a community together, and this is why the stage is a key focal point of this project,” said Mr Roncon.

“By reinvigorating the space for live music performances and public forums, we will be attracting more people into the CBD, ultimately creating a more vibrant, community space.”

While the stage reconstruction will be an attractive modern design, there will be subtle structural elements in the shell canopy that echo the heritage features of the neighbouring post office. Works on the stage will begin in the second half of this year.

Another major aspect of the project will be the revitalisation of the playgrounds in the Central and East Mall.

“We have received overwhelming community support to retain the playgrounds in the Mall, so they will both receive updated equipment, new rubber surfacing and bright new shade sails,” said Mr Roncon.

“We expect this part of the project to be complete by June.”

A number of aesthetic improvements will also be made to the Mall, including the installation of additional LED festoon lighting, pressure cleaning and sealing the fountain.

The Mall’s flagpoles and steel structures will be painted, along with the Faulkner Street bus shelter and taxi rank.  The shelter will receive new skylights and improved security lighting, with work on this expected to begin on Saturday 1 May. This won’t affect the bus timetable, however, during the two days of scheduled work, the public will not be able to sit or stand inside the shelter.

There will also be new signage installed to highlight Armidale’s key tourist hotspots and its diverse cultural and educational assets.  

More information on key dates and the timeline of works will be released in the coming weeks and months, with additional work yet to be confirmed.

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