Key Economic Development Projects

KEY PROJECTS FOR LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

View the latest newsletter released in June 2022 here: 

Glen Innes Local Economic Development News (mailchi.mp)

1. INTRODUCING COMMUNITY WEALTH BUILDING

On Wednesday 8 June, a Grow Glen Innes Think Tank was conducted in partnership with Meaghan Burkett of Ethical Fields to introduce the concept and potential of Community Wealth Building (CWB). 

So what is it?
An economic and community development model to build a vibrant, confident and inclusive community supported by a sustainable and prosperous economy, and the tools to enable you to do it.

What does it aim to do?
1. Make financial power work for local places
2. Create an inclusive economy
3. Create regenerative industries
4. Strengthen regions, towns, and local community

The Glen Innes CWB Scan is ready to go.
 
 

2. A JOURNEY OF POWER GENERATION: PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE

The Glen Innes Powerhouse Museum would involve the retention, remediation and repurposing of an iconic architectural structure and power-generating machinery – the now defunct Glen Innes Power Station in Church Street (a site owned by Essential Energy) – into a state-of-the-art, multi-disciplinary, community-accessible, heritage and cultural destination.

The Powerhouse Museum Expression of Interest to purchase or lease the Essential Energy building was submitted by the deadline of 12 May 2022. Council awaits an outcome of our submission to move this project forward.

3. CENTENNIAL PARKLANDS SKYWALK

The  Skywalk is part of the master concept plan designed to improve utilisation and attraction of the parklands and showcase Celtic and Ngoorabul connections and culture. 

The project has been awarded $2M funding under the Public Spaces Legacy Program.

The design, production and delivery of the Skywalk Geotourism visitor experience has been procured to deliver hyperlocal mapping technology with audio and Augmented Reality (AR). 

Find out more

A partnership with Naveze, Production Group and Cutting Edge industry innovators and leaders will deliver 22 audio stories and 360-degree drone footage with AR integrated into a hyper-local mapping platform.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. CENTENNIAL PARKLANDS FACILITIES AND OUTDOOR EVENT SPACE

 

Thanks to the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grant Program, the next stage of the Centennial Parklands Master Concept plan will be built.  

A new amenities block with an outdoor event space will rejuvenate the area next to Crofters Cottage for locals and visitors to utilise and improve the experience at the Australian Celtic Festival.

Detailed designs and costings have been completed and Council is finalising the funding deed prior to commencing on the project.

View the Centennial Parklands Master Plan here

 

5. HIGHLANDS BUSINESS & COMMUNITY HUB

CO-WORKING SPACE:

This project will create a central, physical co-working space which provides expert support, connections and a community for start-ups and entrepreneurs to grow and scale their business. 

This is a key initiative from the new Economic Development Strategy 2020-2040 & Action Plan 2020-2025.

Funding has been granted for $616,000 through the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund which will enable the fit-out for a suitable training facility to run workshops and programs, as well as enabling the attraction of more conferences and business events.

The HUB fit out is in full swing and we're aiming for a September 2022 opening. 

In the mean time, we need your help!  We want to make sure we offer programs and courses YOU are wanting so we need your feedback.

Tell us what courses/training you would like to see at the HUB

DIGITAL 

The digital Highlands Business Hub was launched in April 2020 to address the estimated $200M leakage of business from the local economy. 

Since then, we've added COMMUNITY and CAREERS alongside BUSINESS so the whole community can use the platform to connect.
 
It's really easy to register so you can start sharing and collaborating online!

 

 

6. NEW ENGLAND RAIL TRAIL (NERT)

THE NEW RAIL TRAIL WILL BRING ECONOMIC BENEFITS TO ALL TOWNS AND VILLAGES FROM GLEN INNES TO ARMIDALE.​

  • Rail trails bring significant economic and community benefits to regional areas.

  • This project is expected to deliver $5.8million annually into the local economy.

  • 15,000 day visits, 14,000 overnight visits annually leading to the creation of 26 new full-time equivalent jobs (REMPLAN 2019).

PRESERVING THE RAIL CORRIDOR FOR FUTURE USE.

  • It's a common misconception that the rail trail will stop any future alternative uses of the rail trail. This is simply incorrect - the rail trail project will actually preserve the corridor for future use.
  • An act of NSW parliament will be required to close the rail corridor and transfer ownership from Transport NSW to Crown lands.  Alternatives are being investigated based on learnings from the two pilot projects which will guide governance and alternatives to  transferring ownership.
  • The creation of a rail trail does not prevent opening of a rail line at any time in the future.
  • All artefacts and relics can be preserved for potential static displays in the train stations.
  • There are 5 bridges along the Armidale to Ben Lomond route. Most of these will be retained (with upgrades) or replaced with pre-fabricated bridges.
  • The rail corridor will remain in public hands and ARC and GISC would assume responsibility for the rail trail including annual maintenance.

FUNDING RECEIVED FOR GLEN INNES TO BEN LOMOND SECTION.

  • Funding was confirmed on 30 June 2021 from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund (BLER) to the value of $8.7 Million.
  • "I especially welcome the $8.7 million to Glen Innes Severn Council for stage one of the New England Rail Trail from Glen Innes to Ben Lomond," Mr Joyce said. 
  • Armidale Regional Council have a further funding application in for the Armidale to Ben Lomond Section to the Building Better Regions Fund with an outcome expected September 2021.

WHY THE NEW ENGLAND RAIL TRAIL?

  • Rail trails are safe, wheelchair accessible off-road pathways for the whole family to enjoy.
  • They promote active living transport routes for tourists and locals, encouraging nature and environmental appreciation and awareness.
  • They take advantage of under utilised assets and help promote the country, attracting visitors from the city who will stay and spend tourist dollars with local businesses, generating jobs with cycling now the 4th most popular physical activity for adult Australians.
  • Rail trails bring significant economic and community benefits to regional areas. This project is expected to deliver $5.8million annually into the local economy. 15,000 day visits, 14,000 overnight visits annually leading to the creation of 26 new full-time equivalent jobs (REMPLAN 2019
  • Rail trails ensure the preservation of rail heritage assets including bridges, tunnels and cuttings. They also preserve the rail corridor for all other future uses.

Stay connected via:

New England High Country NSW OFFICIAL Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/newenglandrailtrailnsw

NERT Organisations facebook page

Key Documents:

NERT Final report

NERT Trail Plan

NERT Biosecutity Risk Assessment & Biosecurity Plan

NERT Business Case - BLER application - Glen Innes

NERT Business Case - Armidale to Glen Innes

NERT Community Information Pack

Community Survey and further consultation

You can complete the online survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NERT

Legislation Change and Evaluation Report

The NSW Rail Trails Framework (PDF, 5.83 MB) helps clarify the process for establishing a Rail Trail, the proposal, Planning pathways and approval processes, as well as providing guidance for its operation and maintenance. The NSW Rail Trails Evaluation Summary Report (PDF, 5.31 MB) details lessons learned from the two pilot projects, key social and economic outcomes and avenues to optimise the success of future Rail Trail projects. 

 

7. HOUSING ASSESSMENT AND FUTURE AFFORDABLE HOUSING STRATEGY

The Glen Innes Housing Assessment and Affordable Housing Strategy is going to Council's June Ordinary Council Meeting for endorsement to go on public exhibition.

Housing is fundamental to the future growth and well-being of the Glen Innes LGA community. This strategy identifies a series of ways in which Glen Innes Severn Council (GISC) can work with State Government, the private sector, community housing providers and local industry to improve the quality and supply of local housing in the future.

The strategy is based on an assessment of current land supply, development, and construction activity, as well as engagement with housing providers and community groups. This assessment identified that land, housing, and residential construction shortages are likely to be constraining the potential growth of Glen Innes LGA.

Documents:

Housing Assessment

Draft Housing Strategy

This strategy will form part of the next Grow Glen Innes Think Tank.

8. GROW GLEN INNES THINK TANK (GGITT)

 

GGITT was launched on 31 March 2020 with a local social media campaign which reached 5,423 people; an email campaign to 1,305 recipients with a 43% open rate; radio interviews with 2CBD and ABC New England North West; an article on Highlands Business Hub shared to Local Business and community pages. The GGITT was also added to the Glen Innes Highlands/Invest and Council websites.

This resulted in 50 registrations as at 21.06.2021 with more expected to register with consistent and ongoing promotion.

We now have the majority of research and strategic development completed in order to wrap it all together and complete a full Liveability Assessment based on the Regional Australia Institute's Toolkit.  

To participate, register below so you receive the invitation for the next workshop, which will most likely be held in July/August.

Register here

 

9. WORKFORCE ATTRACTION & RETENTION STRATEGY

This report, funded under the Building Better Regions Fund and undertaken by the Regional Australia Institute (RAI), was motivated by Council’s desire to examine the LGA's workforce challenges and understand the future of jobs in the region.

The report seeks to develop a workforce attraction and retention strategy for the Glen Innes Severn Local Government Area (LGA), as envisaged under the Glen Innes Highlands Economic Development Strategy 2020-2040 and its Action Plan 2020-2025.

The strategy has a vision to "increase the skilled workforce of Glen Innes Severn LGA to meet current and future employment needs."  This can be achieved in partnership with Council, community and industry to deliver against the four key focus areas of:

1. Developing a Regional Learning System
2. Strengthening the Business Community
3. Targeted Attraction
4. Strengthening Liveability

To access the report please email: mdavis@gisc.nsw.gov.au

This strategy will form part of the next Grow Glen Innes Think Tank.

 

10. 'ATTRACT, CONNECT, STAY' HEALTHCARE WORKFORCE PILOT

 

Attract, Connect, Stay is a two-year project funded by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) and auspiced by Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) - the peak body representing rural and remote allied health professionals.  

Three local government areas (LGAs) in north-western NSW have been selected to participate in a research project to address their long-standing health workforce shortages. Glen Innes, Gwydir Shire and Narrabri LGAs will work with a research team headed by Dr Cath Cosgrave to establish, fund and manage a Health Workforce Recruiter & Connector (HWRC) position.

Glen Innes Severn Council, among others, was contacted by Dr Cath Cosgrave regarding the opportunity to participate in a program earlier this year.  Council quickly contacted Cath and a workshop was organised and facilitated which included residents, Grow Glen Innes Think Tank registrants and healthcare professionals from across the private and public sector.

An Expression of Interest (EOI) to participate in the program was then submitted by Council with the help of workshop participants to leverage this unique opportunity to start to address some of our local healthcare challenges.  

Download the EOI

Attract Connect Stay Pilot Program information

Glen Innes was awarded the program and no the program is run by a Community-led Not-for-Profit led by Chairperson Sheryn Nourse.

To find out more please visit the Attract Connect Stay - Glen Innes facebook page here: Attract Connect Stay - Glen Innes | Facebook

For the latest news from Glen Innes Highlands (Council) please see our news page.

Margot Davis - 02 67 302 403 

Manager Economic Development

Glen Innes Severn Council