CBD spruce up welcomed

    Invercargill City Council city centre co-ordinator Kari Graber (left), Vodafone director Jo Sharp and Vodafone retail staff member Shania O'Connell-Smith prepare for Invercargill's first CBD working bee, Rev Up.

    A LARGE-SCALE working bee is planned for next month to give Invercargill’s CBD a facelift ahead of the Burt Munro Challenge, and business owners, volunteers and residents are encouraged to get involved.

    The initiative, Rev Up, is being held on the weekend of January 27-28.

    “It’s time for us all to work together to give the community and visitors a beautiful place where they will want to spend their time and money,” Invercargill City Council (ICC) city centre co-ordinator Kari Graber said.

    Burt Munro Challenge organising committee chairman Wayne Affleck welcomed the initiative.

    “A bit of a spruce up will only add to the already warm southern welcome for visiting out-of-towners and locals alike,” he said.

    Ms Graber said the CBD was the focus of the first Rev Up, but it was hoped the initiative would be extended to other neighbourhoods in the city over time.

    “The CBD touches everyone. It belongs to the whole city, so this is a great starting point.”

    The working bee would be encompass Dee St from Leet St to Clyde St, Tay St from Dee St to Deveron St, Kelvin St from Tay St to Don St and Don St from Kelvin St to Dee St.

    Windows, footpaths and shop fronts would be cleaned, paint touched up and old advertising posters removed in alleyways. Litter would also be picked up, plantings added to some areas and there were plans to commission murals on two alleyways to improve their appearance, she said.

    The aim was for Rev Up to be done at no cost, with sponsorship of cleaning and painting supplies being sought from businesses, Ms Graber said.

    As of Friday last week, seven businesses had indicated their staff would help out on the day, including Louies Cafe and Tapas Bar owner Mana Davis and Shoe Clinic owner Ben Fokkens, who both planned to make improvements to their verandas and shop fronts.

    Staff at Venture Southland and Invercargill’s Vodafone store were also backing the initiative.

    Vodafone director Jo Sharp said the project would create great community spirit.

    “We need to take ownership of the presentation of the place and how we are presenting ourselves to the world,” she said.

    Deputy Mayor Rebecca Amundsen said Rev Up would be a great way for the community to reconnect with the inner city and support inner city retailers.

    “I am really grateful to the businesses who have already indicated their support and involvement, this is a great endorsement for the Rev Up. And, also those groups and churches who have already put themselves forward as volunteers – they are setting a great example.”

    Rev Up headquarters is located at the former ASB Bank building on Esk St, where people can register to help out and ask questions. Rev Up HQ would be open on December 14 and January 11 and 18 between 11.30am-1.30pm.


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