Friends of Willow Court recently presented their vision for the Future of Willow Court to the Derwent Valley Council. This response to the Council’s call for expressions of interest involves a staged plan for a community-led long term vision for the site, through a collaboration with the Derwent Valley Arts. It includes the development of community spaces, with a balance of community and commercial leases, and a governance structure comprising of a skills-based board and expert advisory panel to oversee the redevelopment and ongoing management of Council owned portions of the site.
At this time there are several discussions going on about the future use of the historic Willow Court precinct and this proposal addresses many of the points included in the DVC “Our Valley 2030 Strategic Plan” such as:
- Regional diversity and innovation
- Well-planned and supported infrastructure to meet growing demands
- Preservation and protection of the lived, built and natural environment for the next generation
- Integration to maximise opportunities and participation
- Encourage activities to improve physical or mental well-being
- Improve liveability and engage the community
- Build the Valley’s brand by story and reputation
- Implement effective governance and partnership
The plan has a deep community focus positioning Willow Court to take advantage of opportunities to explore how the existing buildings can provide key facilities needed in the Derwent Valley. Potential future use has been highlighted in the proposal using the acronym TRACES to focus on 6 definite strategies.
TRAILS and Tours.
Develop guided tours with Friends of Willow Court.
Engage with tourism operators to develop and promote.
Develop walking and driving routes.
RESTORATION and Reuse
Clean up the courtyards.
Staged repairs of buildings.
Develop training programs for young people interested in repairing historical buildings.
ACTIVATION and Access
Continue open days and events
Setup venue hire rates and rules.
Instal internal gates to improve access.
CURATORS and Custodians
Engage with the community to collect stories.
Gather community history through schools and universities.
Align exhibitions with events in the Derwent Valley and Tasmanian arts and events calendar.
Develop a community garden project.
Establish a community kitchen.
Facilitate continuing relationships with DV Community House and Agrarian Kitchen.
Develop a signage strategy to contribute to the interpretation of New Norfolk and its history.
Promote signage for sites as landmarks within the town and the Valley.
Tree planting strategy to spatial links between Willow Court sites particularly High Street and The Avenue.
The proposal includes references to similar projects that have delivered great results to communities in other parts of Australia.
A public meeting to present the proposal to the community will be held:
at 6 pm on Wednesday 5 June
at the New Norfolk Lions Club meeting room, Humphrey St New Norfolk
Image credit > Visit the Friends of Willow Court.