Sunshine's successfull Light Up Sunshine program has been given the green light for another year. The program which was introduced in August 2014 helped improve lighting, encourage more evening activity, and addressed perceptions of safety in Sunshine's Town Centre.
Light Up Sunshine events begin again this September. A draft program will be available by mid-August.
Coming Events and Further Improvements
The Light Up Sunshine program for the coming year will be integrated with other high profile local projects including the Pollard Gardens Activation Project, MidSumma, Cultural Diversity Week, Refugee Week and Reconciliation Week activities.
The 2015-2016 program will deliver more lighting and maintenance improvements, the shopfront improvement program, and a range of evening public space activities and events organised by Council and the Sunshine Business Association (SBA).
Council worked closely with the SBA on the under awning lighting initiative and the activation event ‘Movies in the Park’ at Pollard Gardens.
The SBA’s Sunshine Lantern Festival, Sunshine Film Festival and Pho Fever also attracted both metropolitan and interstate patronage.
Increased Safety = Increased People
Light Up Sunshine increased visitors to Sunshine, attracting a family friendly crowd who felt safe at the events. Traders also reported increased custom. The improved lighting and events helped create a night-time culture where people could shop, and/or dine in Sunshine's many varied restaurants.
Council and the SBA recognise that an evening economy develops with improved perceptions of safety through activation and events.
Sunshine is re-emerging as one of Melbourne’s great centres and Council has an important role to play in creating a vibrant, safe and clean town centre - day and night. The Light Up Sunshine Program is helping to achieve that vision.
Initiatives of the Light Up Sunshine program for 2014/2015 were:
Lighting and maintenance improvements
- Council commissioned a preliminary lighting assessment of key pedestrian connections and car parks to identify areas where lighting is perceived to be insufficient, to inform future lighting improvements and prioritise maintenance and other minor works.
- Council has worked with Powercor to upgrade the quality of public street lighting across all residential areas in the Centre.
- Council has approached landowners about upgrading private lighting as identified in the lighting assessment. The first upgrade is the pedestrian walkway linking Hampshire Road to the car park adjacent to Service and Dawson Street anticipated to be completed early 2016, with further private lighting improvements to be pursed over 2015/16.
- Council continues to deliver its shopfront improvement program, with seven businesses participating in the past twelve months, undertaking appearance, amenity and safety improvements including lighting enhancements, removal of non-transparent roller shutters and redundant signage, and painting and other repairs.
- Council and the Sunshine Business Association (SBA) each secured a $20,000 grant from the Department of Justice to fund lighting improvements along Mann Place, McDonald Lane and Clarke Street. Nineteen new sensor lights were installed as part of this initiative, and three public street lights were also upgraded as part of this initiative
- Construction of the first stage of the Hampshire Road Master Plan has commenced which also includes street lighting improvements between Dickson Street and Devonshire Road.
Evening public space activation
- Council and the SBA held fortnightly ”Movies in the Park” in Pollard Gardens on Saturday evenings from late December 2014 to the end of March 2015. Council also organised live music and pop-up food carts on Friday evenings during summer at the Sunshine Train Station forecourt. On average, 150 guests attended the fortnightly events, despite the inclement weather.
- The SBA held the Sunshine Lantern Festival in October 2014, supported by a $10,000 grant as part of the Brimbank Community Grants program. The event attracted approximately 10,000 visitors over the day and night. The SBA also delivered the annual Sunshine Short Film Festival on the evening on 30 October 2014 at Village Cinemas, and the annual Sunshine Pho Fever held during the evenings on 1 -3 March 2015, as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.