Don’t forget to come to the goodbye party for MANY 6160 in the former Myer building at Fremantle’s Kings Square from 5-9 pm today.
Family entertainment, live music, food vans and more, and lots of things to buy.
MANY 6160 in the former Myer building at Freo’s Kings Square will have to move because of the Kings Square project development, so on Friday February 24 there will be a goodbye party. Below the details:
Wonderful friends of MANY. As you know, at the end of this month, we’re on the move…. so that means one thing;
A GOODBYE PARTY! BAZINGA!
Everyone is welcome to join us for this free-to-attend event at MANY (entry via King’s Square doors) from 5pm on Friday 24 Feb. Come by to enjoy live music, DJ’s, games, food trucks and a bar.
We’d love to see as many of you here as possible – so we can thank you for your amazing support over the past 3.5 years.
Kids, grannies, pets, and all your mates… everyone’s welcome to party with us. See you there.
I understand that some of the MANY businesses will temporarily move into the former Spotlight building that is also earmarked for development, while others are moving into the Henderson Street police station/courthouse complex.
The decision to continue with the Fremantle BID-Business Improvement District was deferred on Wednesday evening by the City of Fremantle’s Finance, Policy and Legislation Committee because members were not convinced that BID has found its niche yet, in what Chair Andrew Sullivan called the Holy Trinity of BID, the Chamber of Commerce and the CoF. It had five years to find that focus.
New BID CEO Tim Milsom told the Councillors about plans for new events, markets, getting external funding etc. but the elected members questioned if it should be BID’s role to organise events or rather to connect traders better with events the city and outside organisations already put up.
How do businesses, especially retailers, get to benefit from events and what are the programs, outcomes and benefits councillors asked.
Olwyn Williams, the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce spoke against extending the BID contract for another three years.
It was questioned how effective and successful BID could be when relying on a handful of volunteers and staff.
BID has been successful with running treasure hunts during school holidays which attract large numbers of children with parents who stay in Fremantle long, discover new businesses and often come back a second day to do the whole list.
For example the Sculpture@Bathers show could have a fringe events where artists who are not invited to the main show on Bathers Beach exhibit their sculptures in the windows of shops all over Fremantle and walking tours to view them could be organised by BID. Retailers could offer specials to people who come to events and tap into social media more and better.
For BID to want to organise new markets they should realise that there are already too many markets around Perth according to unhappy stall holders. The Friday night market at Princess May Market failed to attract new people and the Fremantle and E Shed markets, and the very successful South Beach food market and Growers Green farmers market cater for weekend visitors already.
The challenge for BID, the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Fremantle is to attract visitors to Fremantle at the start of the week. Freo is doing okay on Fridays and quite well on Saturdays and Sundays, but needs to get busier the first four days of the week. What can be organised to turn Freo from a weekend destination into an all week one?
I think the City will extend BID but it would require that the organisation deeply contemplates its role and find its focus because it has not been able to do that in BID’s first disappointing five years.
If my information is right I understand BID bought the artwork in front of Bathers Beach House and that is definitely not their role.
It should not be up to the CoF to come up with new ideas for BID because the concept is that this independent organisation would cut through red tape and connect with traders. If BID has a lack of concept, focus and ideas than the City’s marketing and economic development department might as well do it in house an use the $ 350,000.00 a year BID has been getting the last five years.
The FPOL Committee of the City of Fremantle has an interesting and varied agenda for this coming Wednesday so I hope more members of the public will take and interest in local council governance and turn up to observe it all.
The Youth Council, and Alcohol Policy are on the agenda and also the important question if the City should continue with the BID-Business Improvement District. It looks like the CoF will do that for another three years and once the Kings Square Project is completed it will reconsider if BID will be needed in a very changed CBD climate.
Changes will have to be made by BID and the announcement that former Chamber of Commerce CEO Tim Milsom will head BID from this year on will no doubt be applauded by the business community.
Come along on Wednesday from 6 pm and see how local government works!
Deep from the bowels of the Fremantle Townhall comes info that the City of Fremantle is seriously considering introducing free parking days during the very quiet first half of the week.
Fremantle is so much of a weekend destination that on Mondays and Tuesdays it often looks like a ghost town that only a few locals visit, so there are quite a few retailers who are struggling to survive.
The perception of parking problems and the lack of vacant parking spaces has been going on for years and there are still no signs around the city pointing out all day cheap parking options for visitors.
One issue with free parking would be Notre Dame University students, as those who now come by public transport, because it’s cheaper than parking, might be encouraged to also drive into the West End and occupy parking spaces intended for shoppers.
I understand full council will debate this issue in four weeks, so stay tuned.
I picked out a few more figures from the City of Fremantle annual report to show facts that sometimes do not support the perception(s) people have of Fremantle.
The lament that businesses constantly close in Fremantle is a real but the annual report figures show that 64 new businesses opened while 37 closed and 11 relocated within the city. Not great figures and I’d love to see no shop closures at all and new big retailers opening up in Freo, but the facts are better that community perception.
And here a copy and paste below from the annual report:
Compared to Perth’s metropolitan population, Fremantle shows a lower proportion of people in the younger age groups (0 to 17 years) and a higher proportion of residents in the older age groups (50+ years). Overall, 18% of the residents are under 18 years of age, 8% are between 18 and 24 years, 37% between 25 and 49 years, and 38% are aged 50 years and over.
Fremantle households tend to be smaller than the Perth average with 70% of dwellings housing one or two people, while only 4% have five or more residents. Car ownership reflects this, with 13% of households having no vehicles and fewer than 10% having three or more cars.
Fremantle people are well educated, with 29% of residents holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. At 6.4%, unemployment in the city is slightly higher than the national average.
The Fremantle economy is diverse, with 4 456 registered businesses operating across a wide range of sectors. Many of the city’s enterprises are small businesses, with 20% of active businesses employing fewer than five people.
Interesting about these statistics for me is the average age of the Fremantle population with 38% over the age of 50 years and 37% between the ages of 25 and 49 years of age. This means 75% of Fremantle residents are older than 25 years of age, but there is a strong emphasis at Fremantle Council to create a youth culture in Fremantle that tends to ignore the population reality. I support having a Youth Council but we should also have an Aged Council that represents the vast majority of the population!
I have no issue with people not agreeing with the Australia Day changes Fremantle Council has made but I do object to the Fisheries Minister Joe Francis disrespectfully calling our Elected Members loonies and Fremantle Chamber of Commerce CEO Olwyn Williams suggesting on TV that it will have a major negative impact on Fremantle traders.
First of all there will be fireworks, so all the people who only came for the fireworks in previous years (and that was the vast majority) still can enjoy them. The reality is that most of the crowd only came to the Bathers Beach and Esplanade area after 5pm on Australia Day, so after most shops have closed and many West End cafes as well.
The Citizenship ceremony and entertainment on the Esplanade is never very well attended, so that has not attracted big crowds and lots of shoppers to the city.
Anyone who has been to the Freo fireworks and who lives in the West End will have noticed traffic jams everywhere immediately after the fireworks finish as most people go straight home and don’t stay around, so Australia Day was never huge for traders, but only for the take-away Fishing Boat Harbour traders, who will still get a large crowd on Australia Day for the fireworks but will now also get an additional big day of trading two days later when the John Butler concert is on the Esplanade.
Instead of whingeing about the City of Fremantle not doing anything on Australia Day the Fremantle traders should be grateful that there are now two events over two days that will bring additional business for them. Forget the politics and forget the emotional stuff about Australia Day and recognise that this is a better outcome for Fremantle businesses which will now have two busy days.
The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce can not genuinely claim that the City of Fremantle decision is going to be bad for business, as that is not backed up by facts from previous years. Shops in Fremantle never had a great shopping day on Australia Day, but the Fish&Chips traders did. That will not change because they put on fireworks themselves, but they will now also have a big second day of trading during One Day in Fremantle, and surely that is a good thing!
I had a look inside the renovated Atwell Arcade building and was very impressed with some of the stunning office spaces they have created on the first floor above Cotton On and the other shops in the High Street Mall.
There is no doubt in my mind that this development is good for the Fremantle retail and hospitality industries and our city overall.
Cotton On will open this Friday and looks very impressive and the modern arcade looks inviting.
Maybe some of the heritage character has been lost but I believe the development is a real gain for Freo and a milestone for the revival of Fremantle.
As I have said before the exterior of the new building is not outstanding but for me an acceptable compromise in this location because it angles away as a huge set back and it appears very soft against the blue sky.
Fremantle retailers are making a real effort for Christmas this year with some nice creative window displays, so take the kids for a walk in the evening as many windows are lit up.
There is a dinosaur, kangaroo, peacock, Father Christmas, etc. so support our Freo traders and shop local this year for creative presents.
Cotton On will open this Friday so finally something that resembles a department store back in the CBD and it looks pretty good!
It is still cotton off for the mannequins at the new Fremantle COTTON ON in the High Street mall Atwell Arcade, but it is only days away until the national franchise will open their large new shop there.
The arcade is nearly finished and should also open soon, and it is good to see that the mall no longer is the derelict area with many vacant shops.
While there are no City of Fremantle Christmas lights in the streets yet over 40 retailers have participated in a BID project to light up their windows at night, so have a look for them. Support our local Freo businesses and buy your Christmas presents in town this year!
There are many cute shops along High and Market streets and elsewhere that offer a lot more than bland mass-produced products, so check them out!