A revitalised town centre in Raglan is on the cards following a successful funding application to the Innovating Streets For People Pilot Fund.
During lockdown, Waikato District Council worked closely with Raglan Community Board and Raglan Naturally to submit a funding application for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s pilot programme.
The aim of the programme is to make it faster and easier to transition urban streets to safer and more liveable spaces for communities.
Projects funded by the programme are community-led – with Council’s role being in the fields of technical advice and funding/delivery co-ordination.
The team submitted an initial concept for Raglan as anecdotally it was known that the community had a history of wanting to create a space in town for the community to gather.
This concept included earlier ideas that were created when Raglan Naturally was first initiated in the early 2000’s.
It involves thinking around creating of shared spaces (pedestrian/cycling/vehicles) on Bow St and a town square concept in the vicinity of the Bow St/Cliff St/Wallis St intersection.
Also, since lockdown, the community has been expressing more interest in opportunities to get out of vehicles to enjoy leisure time with whanau that allows for safe walking and biking.
The team were successful in attracting $270,000 from Waka Kotahi, which is topped up by $30,000 by Council.
The plan from here is that the design will be finalised by the community.
The layout will then be installed in a semi-permanent manner and the beauty of the fund is that it allows for creativity, it is not expensive, the changes are not permanent and it is an opportunity for community co-design.
Monitoring and observations of the area and collation of feedback will be undertaken following its implementation.
Should issues arise or changes need to be made to the layout it will be tweaked as necessary.
This is part of the process so that it is adaptable and not fixed. If the changes are considered to be a success then they will be made permanent and if not they will be removed.
“We’re delighted that our project has been chosen by Waka Kotahi to receive funding through the Innovating Streets Pilot Fund,” says Gabrielle Parson, Raglan Community Board Chairperson.
And Raglan Ward Councillor Lisa Thomson is excited about the opportunity to work with the people of Raglan on this project.
“The Raglan Community Board is looking forward to working collaboratively with the community on this exciting project. Watch this space for more details coming soon,” she says.