NIGHT markets, art trails, pop-up shops and a new marketing and branding strategy are some of the ideas the Gympie Regional Council is looking at in an effort to enhance Gympie's CBD.
The council hosted a breakfast yesterday morning at the Australian Institute of Country Music to outline some of the work consultancy firm Place Partners was doing and unveil some potential new logos for Gympie Town Centre, the proposed name for our CBD.
Place Partners is undertaking the marketing and branding exercise in consultation with local business and the community.
Director Kylie Legge said the purpose of the project was to build on the best that Gympie offered, identifying ways to improve the CBD experience and to share the story with the community and potential visitors.
One aspect of the project is developing a branding mark or logo to represent the spirit of Town Centre.
The name Town Centre has been adopted to reflect not only the centre's role as the Central Business District but also the heart of the community.
The council is seeking community feedback on the logos and ideas on how to improve the Town Centre.
The council deputy mayor Tony Perrett said the community had told council that the CBD needed support so it could become a place residents wanted to visit on a daily basis.
"We are committed to reinforcing the CBD as the principal destination and primary retail, entertainment and service centre in the region," Cr Perrett said.
"We also need to ensure we have a strategy which delivers opportunities for attracting new business and tourism."
Mr Perrett urged residents to log onto http://www.greatgympie.com.au to have their say.
Ms Legge said the designs weren't set in stone and could be changed or blended to form other logos.
All logos have the common themes of gold, history and community.
Business and community leaders at the breakfast also put forward many ideas about how to revitalise the lower end of Mary St.
Currently, there are 11 empty shops in the flood-prone zone and retailers say it's not good for business.
The once mooted and abandoned idea of the Mary St markets is well and truly back on the agenda with most people at the breakfast relaying positive feedback.
The only sticking point is the timing of the markets.
A suggestion to have twilight markets in Mary St and adorn the streets trees with LED fairy lights was given a luke-warm reception.
Roger Broadley said the markets needed to be on every Saturday morning to attract people from all over the region and beyond to the CBD.
He said the idea was to boost foot traffic in Mary St while retailers were open to increase trade.
All agreed they would come to Mary St to shop if there was a good range of local produce available at the markets. Other ideas floated to give the main street life included opening up empty shops to allow artists to showcase work or set up static displays.