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Margate Makeover On The Cards

Story: Story Brooke Jacobson
Nov 28, 2018
Margate’s shopping precinct is ready for a makeover and according to local business owners, it can’t come soon enough.Vivienne Bryce and Jemma Shields, co-owners of Soul Harvest Wholefoods on Baynes Street say a planned revitalisation of the area is long overdue. “It’s definitely needed and not just for the business community, but for a community that hasn’t had a change of pace in years.

“We think it will bring more light and life to Margate. We have always loved the idea of having a small community garden, as well as redecorating the street lights and trees around the area, to bring more attention to the business district at night.”

Vivienne added there were simply too many empty shops. “At Soul Harvest, we believe that we need more business owners to take advantage of the opportunities that Margate presents, It’s all about perception,” she says.

“Every empty store has limitless potential and if you bring something new to the table, the response from the community is astounding. Since the day we opened, we have received overwhelming support from our local customers.”

Moreton Bay Regional councillor Koliana Winchester has been working with the local chamber of commerce to ensure some changes happen in Margate.

“There is a concept plan in place for community consultation and we have agreed on new signage for Margate Parade, which will hopefully get people turning off to go to the shops,” she said.

“The last kind of upgrade to the area was made in 2007, so it’s looking a little dated now. We’d like to see the roundabout redone and we’re hoping to plant a tree there that could be decorated at Christmas. We’ve also discussed a ‘Welcome to Margate’ sign, and tree lighting is something we’re also considering.”

“We want Margate to have that village feel and I really think we could make the area a destination for shopping for local residents.”

The proposed upgrade will take in Oxley Ave, Baynes Street and the surrounding side streets.

Jemma says the community is crying out for new businesses. “I forever have customers that come in and tell me they haven’t been down Baynes Street in years because they have no reason to, and we have desperate cries for gluten-free bakeries, fresh fruit and veg stalls and so on,” she says.

“I challenge the businesses in the area to give people a reason to come back to Margate. The customer base is here and they have been patiently waiting for too long. We are truly happy to be here and that is why we are here to stay, whether or not the council revitalises Margate.”