Merrigum is exploring the potential for a one-stop hub to stimulate its economy and bring services closer to its older citizens.February 5, 2014 4:32am
Member for Rodney Paul Weller with Merrigum Community Group members Roger Driscoll and Ken Phillips at last week's funding announcement for a feasibility study into a commercial hub for the town.
A feasibility study is to be done on the possibility of setting up a commercial hub in Merrigum.
The Victorian Government has given Greater Shepparton City Council $5200 to do the study.
Member for Rodney Paul Weller said the study would explore the economic benefits of combining local businesses.
‘‘The study will investigate the possibility of establishing a central commercial hub that would provide local residents and tourists with access to fuel, a post office, banking facilities, hospitality businesses and a newsagency,’’ Mr Weller said.
‘‘Overall, the project will investigate options that stimulate economic and commercial diversity, which will improve the resilience and long term sustainability of Merrigum and its residents.’’
Merrigum Community Group president Ken Phillips said the intention was for the proposed hub to include a post office, supermarket and cafe in one building.
‘‘We hope it would also have rooms suitable for doctors and other health care services to run clinics from,’’ he said.
‘‘There is a tendency for older citizens to leave smaller communities to be closer to the services they require and we hope a new commercial hub would be able to provide many of these services.’’
Mr Weller and Merrigum Community Group member Roger Driscoll agreed that including scope for a fuel outlet in Merrigum would be one of the most important aspects to be considered in the study as being able to fill up in town would have multiple benefits.
Mr Driscoll said it was important to maintain commercial activity in small towns rather than let them become solely residential communities.
‘‘The café and post office here are currently up for sale and we need to keep business interests in town rather than have people travelling elsewhere for those services,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re keen to have the council and the community group’s sub-committee working together to carry out this feasibility study.
‘‘We would also like to investigate the possible uses and demand for having a community car here.’’
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