The CBD is the heart of business, investment, retail, entertainment, and arts and culture in Ballarat.
Led by the Making Ballarat Central Strategy (2010), Council has invested in attracting residents and visitors to the CBD with better travel and transport, building community safety and confidence, more quality events, and stronger economic development.
A suite of footpath and road works have improved accessibility and travel in the CBD, including the transformation of Armstrong Street North in 2014. Works included realignment of car parking, a treed median strip and new bluestone paved footpaths, making the street safer and easy to navigate.
To improve safety, Council trialled a 40 km/hr speed limit and increased pedestrian walk phases in the CBD and Council is working a new CBD Car Parking Action Plan to benefit residents, businesses and visitors. Ballarat City Council also partnered with the State Government to trial the new City Circle bus, a free hop-on, hop-off service in the CBD for visitors and residents to travel easily around the city centre.
The number one project on City of Ballarats Budget Priority Projects Survey in 2015 was the new 24-hour CBD toilet block in Alfred Deakin Place. There has been an expansion of CCTV cameras in the CBD and the new CitySafe Taxi Rank at Camp Street was launched in 2015.
The new Little Bridge Street Pocket Park, funded by City of Ballarat and State Government, will improve community safety and confidence between the shopping precinct and bus interchange with a new public toilet, improved lighting, public art, landscaping and new CCTV cameras.
Council has committed greater investment in Christmas and created a new annual event in the CBD: Winterlude. It secured the prestigious Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of Ballarat for two years, attracting more than 56,000 to the CBD in 2015. The Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships, Ballarat Backyard Tasters, and Ballarat Heritage Weekend are some of the popular CBD events.
The City of Ballarat cares for many heritage CBD buildings, including recent faade works on the Town Hall and Her Majestys, and has installed new heritage street furniture and street lights in the citys centre. The Ballarat Visitors Information Centre moved into its new home at the Town Hall, welcoming visitors in one of the citys beautiful historic late 19th Century buildings.
The Ballarat Station is a gateway to the city, a CBD landmark and one of the grandest Victorian-era station buildings in the state. The $25 million State Government redevelopment will transform the precinct into a commercial and cultural hub, increasing visitation to the city, creating local jobs and acting as a catalyst for business and investment opportunities.
Our council has also been involved in strategic planning for a Health and Education Precinct and higher education facilities, and is moving forward with a transformation of the centrally-located Civic Hall site. The expansion of the busy Ballarat Library and new community space will activate this CBD location.
Parent Place, the City of Ballarats award-winning CBD location, has been popular with residents and visitors, offering change and feeding facilities, information and advice about local family services and programs including playgroups, story time, MCH and womens health.