New life for upgraded Shortland Local Centre

18 Aug 2022

New footpaths, safety improvements and a vibrant community mural will breathe new life into Shortland’s neighbourhood shopping precinct as part of City of Newcastle’s Local Centres program.

The upgrade will reduce driver speeds and make it easier for residents to safely navigate the area on foot following the installation of a new pedestrian refuge and road cushions, as well as the introduction of a 40km/hr zone in areas of high pedestrian activity along the busy Sandgate Road.

A new light traffic thoroughfare will also remove heavy vehicle traffic over 10 tonnes between Wetlands Place and Vale Street.

The upgrade will be complemented by improvements to shopfronts along the shopping precinct, with three businesses receiving funding under this year’s Façade Improvements Scheme. The grants help fund repairs and building façade improvements to create active frontages and enhance the city's presentation.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the upgrade delivers a safer and more appealing public space for the Shortland community.

"It's wonderful to see this new space delivered for Shortland residents. This project, which was proposed in a notice of motion by former Ward Four Councillor Jason Dunn, has been well supported by the community, who told us that they wanted safer, easier access to support local businesses," said Cr Nelmes.

"In earlier consultation we heard concerns about access to parking, particularly on mornings when bins are put out for collection, and the changes to parking delivered as part of this upgrade make it easier to get here and shop locally.”

A community mural celebrating Shortland’s unique character has been installed on the side of My Community Pharmacy on Hansen Place, while new landscaping and seating will also make the area a nicer place to visit and shop. The design of the mural was developed by local artists UP&UP in collaboration with students from Shortland Public School, Margaret Jurd College and Our Lady of Victories school.

My Community Pharmacy owner John Jones said the changes had been welcomed by the local community, who feel proud about where they live.

“The Shortland Local Centre upgrade consolidates a sense of pride within the Shortland community,” Mr Jones said.

"The mural, painted by UP&UP following consultation and workshops with local school children, reflects that sense of community, while changes in traffic conditions have helped people feel safer walking across the road and along the footpaths.

“It’s lovely to walk up the street and see all the improvements.”

The Shortland project was completed under City of Newcastle’s Local Centres program, which is delivering upgrades to suburban centres across the local government area. Previous projects have included James Street Plaza, Hamilton, Llewellyn Street, Merewether and Joslin Street, Kotara, while an upgrade is due for completion later this year at Mitchell Street, Stockton.