By November next year, driving into Chiltern from the Hume Freeway will be a very different experience.
Works for the Chiltern Town Centre and Connectivity Project have gone out to tender with the upgrade to Martins Lane included within the funding.
The facade along Beechworth-Chiltern Road, the main thoroughfare for visitors into town, will be upgraded with increased drainage, landscaping and even the installation of a sculpture.
Indigo Council project delivery officer Adam Flynn said proposed sculpture designs would go to public comment.
“Either side of the road is going to look much more appealing,” he said.
“Native trees will be planted and we have been running through the plans with tenants along the road.”
The $300,000 state government grant will also cover works in Martins Lane for seating, a shade structure, and re-surfacing to match the exposed aggregate of the footpaths.
A redundant window in the Chiltern bakery will be knocked out and turned into a serving window so that customers can sit in the laneway.
Northern Victoria MLC Jaclyn Symes said she was looking forward to enjoying the new space, linking the IGA car park to Conness Street in the south, and Chiltern Bakery and Telegraph Hotel on the north side.
“We’re going to have a coffee culture in Chiltern,” she said. “The project will improve Chiltern’s liveability and make it even more attractive.
“I hope these works encourage new businesses and employment opportunities for this growing community.”
Sophie Price, taking part in her first official duties as Indigo’s deputy mayor, said the project was a ‘vital plank of the Chiltern Placemaking and Structure Plan’, adopted by council in June last year.
“It will encourage residents and visitors alike to network with each other, to strengthen personal and business relationships … and to make Chiltern an even more inviting option for young families looking to improve their lifestyle and economic options.”
Under the structure plan, which sets a growth target of 2 per cent per annum, connectivity between the town’s centre, a proposed industrial precinct and Lake Anderson will be improved through improved amenities and cycling paths.
Expressions of interest have gone out regarding the council depot on Anderson Street as initial planning processes get underway.
Meanwhile works to establish the Chiltern Early Years Education Hub, a $320,000 project increasing capacity to take children by 33 places, are almost complete.