A Big Year for Projects and Works in Newcastle!
Parts of Newcastle are receiving a makeover from head to toe, as Newcastle City Council is charging through an ambitious plan of coastal revitalisation, civil works, repurposed heritage structures and upgrades to parks and playgrounds.
"We are implementing a record capital works program and sound strategic planning to maintain and re-invent our historic city," said Mayor Nuatali Nelmes. "Newcastle is currently undergoing significant change as we transition from a great regional centre to an emerging global city."
In addition to the projects below, works will soon commence to revitalise and improve local and neighbourhood centres, starting with Beresfield Local Centre and Young Street, Carrington.
Bathers Way shared pathway - Two new sections have now opened along Newcastle's iconic Bathers Way.
Shortland Esplanade has been transformed from Watt Street to Ocean Street, with a new roadway, drainage retaining walls, lighting and fences. Two new pedestrian crossings and a roundabout at the intersection of Zaara Street will help visitors in cars and on foot.
The Hill has seen significant upgrades to the streetscape and footpaths around Strzelecki Lookout to improve pedestrian access, traffic and parking conditions. A new 4m-wide shared pathway along Cliff Street connects King Edward Park to Memorial Drive.
Nobbys Beach - A spacious dual-purpose building with family change facilities and accessible toilets will be built at Nobbys Beach later this year to complement the recently refurbished surf pavilion.
The 28sqm assisted-change room facility will include an accessible toilet, shower, basin and bench next to the lifeguard tower. A new lift and change amenities will allow for the future installation of a hoist to provide access for heavily mobility-impaired beachgoers.
This project will dramatically improve access to Nobbys for people with mobility challenges and help us create a more inclusive city.
Birdwood Park - The draft West End Public Domain Plan identifies Birdwood Park as the new heart of Newcastle's CBD, where office blocks and apartment buildings are springing up in close proximity to the newly opened Newcastle Interchange.
Under the plan, Birdwood Park could feature an outdoor café, pedestrian plaza and open green space for civic and cultural events, while Little Birdwood Park, across King Street, will be expanded to integrate with the Marketown shopping centre.
Public exhibition for the plan has been completed, and the submissions are now being reviewed for a final report to Council.
Above: Shepherds Hill Cottage
Top: Image by Salty Dingo
Shepherds Hill Cottage - A kiosk or cultural facility is among potential uses for Shepherds Hill Cottage. Council is seeking expressions of interest for someone to re-imagine the timber cottage as a café or tea room, museum, art space, community use facility or for some other activity in line with the Draft Shepherds Hill Defence Group Conservation Management Plan.
The cottage is being opened to the public as part of our priority coastal revitalisation project and long-term commitment to creating vibrant public spaces in our city.
New playground at Blackbutt Reserve - Stage one work on Blackbutt's Richley Reserve playground has been completed, providing a new main access to the area, accessible paths, shade shelters and bbq areas. These works will complement the adventure-style playground earmarked for completion in mid-2018.
A natural play space is being created and will include a climbing tower with bridges, slide and fireman pole, rope courses, tunnels, teepee, rock and stick play, tunnel slide, spinner, swings, sandpit, see-saw and imaginative play spaces.
Playgrounds across the city - The ongoing overhaul of Newcastle's playgrounds continues in 2018, with work set to begin in March on$150,000 revamps of two parkland locations.
Council will build a new playground at Smith Park in Hamilton North, with two slides, climbing structures, twin swings and a "nest swing" designed to accommodate several riders at once. A new picnic area will also be built to provide shade to families.
Work will begin in April on a new playground at Grahame Park in Carrington which will include a play fort, double slides and a picnic shelter with an electric barbecue are among the features of the planned site.