Scarborough Beach Association releases action plan to revitalise suburb in time for summer

Pictured (F-B) Wayne Bowen, Rebecca Hunter, Chas Paridis, Geoff Counsel, Ben Randall.
Pictured (F-B) Wayne Bowen, Rebecca Hunter, Chas Paridis, Geoff Counsel, Ben Randall.

SURFING lessons, night markets, poolside yoga and paving art are some of the ‘quick wins’ in a new action plan to revitalise Scarborough in time for summer.

Community group Scarborough Beach Association (SBA) released the Action Plan: 2017-2020, which outlines its vision for the future of the iconic foreshore precinct, which is undergoing a $75 million foreshore redevelopment.

Despite small businesses suffering financially and even having to close up shop because of disruption from the works, the action plan will start in November with short-term projects to bring people to the beachfront.

For the long-term, the group has proposed a $2 million artificial reef between Brighton Road and Reserve Street and will investigate the viability of funding it.

SBA chairman Wayne Bowen said the action plan aimed to establish a vision for Scarborough and identify principles to guide future actions.

“We aim to make this summer our comeback summer with Scarborough beach being the vibrant destination we all know it to be; so events and activities are planned from November this year onward,” he said.

“People talk about the ‘good old days’ at Scarborough. The ‘good old days’ are with us now; this is why we work, live and play here.

“We want to establish a plan that attracts more visitors to share our unique experiences and enjoy what we have.”

Mr Bowen said the group worked with feedback from residents, businesses, Government and community groups to develop the plan.

The SBA aims to roll out the plan by November in collaboration with the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) and the City of Stirling.

MRA chief executive Kieran Kinsella said construction works were on track despite a tight budget.

“Things we have been concentrating on are making sure that people feel comfortable, stay here for longer, and spend more time in the businesses,” he said.

“One of the strategies we have been working on is bringing more food and beverage opportunities and more things to do at the beach so we can increase that stay at the beach so hopefully everyone gets a share of that much bigger pie.”

Stirling Mayor Giovanni Italiano said he appreciated it had been a “difficult” time for businesses in the area.

“It is great to see the SBA has been so proactive and to see how far it (works) have progressed in such a short space of time,” he said.

“We have passed the halfway mark with the works.”

For the full SBA Action Plan visit www.scarboroughbeach.net.

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