An impressive expansion of the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery is among considerations being investigated by consultants for a new civic and cultural precinct in the heart of Bunbury.
New community spaces and a multi-deck car park are also on the cards for the highly anticipated CBD activity hub.
In a meeting on Tuesday night, councillors confirmed key elements to be included in the design process, which is a preliminary step that works towards assessing the viability and business case for the new precinct.
It includes a 300 bay multi-deck car park on Lot 5 Wellington Street, which has the flexibility to increase to 600 bays; a civic square on the current South’s car park site; and possible gallery expansion and more storage space to complement the existing art gallery.
Consultants Bollig Design Group will also explore a range of ideas to enhance connectivity in the precinct, such as connecting Centenary Gardens to the new civic square and shared space on sections of Wittenoom Street and Prinsep Street.
Work will also be carried out to develop a place making and activation strategy; a business case for commercial, retail and food and beverage opportunities; and also building a business case for public and private partnerships.
Mayor Gary Brennan said the aim of the precinct was to increase the city’s social and economic vibrancy.
“It is important to note that we are still in the very preliminary stages of formulating a vision for the civic and cultural precinct with Council’s decision providing guidance to the consultants about the direction we would like to take,” Mr Brennan said.
“We are not rushing this process as it is important that council considers what the city needs now and into the future.”
Mayor Brennan said the project would have as much community input as possible.
“It is vital that people understand nothing yet has been set in concrete,” he said.
“The consultants will be engaging with a wide range of stakeholders and the city will also include the community in the conversation as the process expands.
“It is going to be exciting to explore the options available to us.”
Bollig Design Group will now prepare more detailed concepts and report back to council in the coming months.