UK's Brighton inspires Rocky's redevelopment proposal
THE centrepiece of Rockhampton Regional Council's 2015/16 budget is a multi-million dollar spend to transform the CBD.
Mayor Margaret Strelow is drawing on a number of inspirations as she looks to renew the tired CBD and make it a lifestyle hub, which, if all goes to plan, will house an additional 10,000 people.
Among these inspirations is Brighton, the UK city which not so many years ago was described as a small sleepy, fishing village on the south coast of England.
It is now dubbed Britain's most colourful and outrageous city and has the vibe Cr Strelow wants to capture.
The Morning Bulletin yesterday took a closer look at the city on the other side of the world to share with readers what might be in store for Rockhampton if the community gets on board.
First place we went to was the Lonely Planet guide. That described Brighton as a place with "a bohemian, cosmopolitan and hedonistic atmosphere".
"Brighton is without doubt Britain's most colourful and outrageous city, and one with many faces. Here, burlesque meets contemporary design; Spanish students leave Starbucks to rub shoulders with stars in Spanish bars; the southeast's grottiest hostels share thin walls with kinky boutique hotels," the guide says.
The city has a population of 163,000 people; somewhat bigger than Rockhamp-ton's 85,000, though the region is predicted to grow to 113,096 by 2036 and this doesn't take into account the nearby Capricorn Coast area.
Outside of London Brighton has the highest ratio of restaurants to residents in the country.
The tourism website, Visit Brighton, says the city underwent its renaissance "as the new millennium approached" and that "is continuing into the new century".
"The new seafront development turned a run down area into an attractive, trendy magnet for visitors. The newly created artists' quarter, clubs, bars and restaurants revitalised the area and turned it into one of the most fashionable beachfronts in Britain."
According to Wikipedia, Brighton's industry has also evolved.
The city has a high density of businesses involved in the media sector, particularly digital or "new media", and since the 1990s has been referred to as "Silicon Beach"
Culturally the city has a vibrant nightlife, festival scene and is considered UK's gay capital.
"Raves on the beach, Graham Greene novels, mods and rockers in bank-holiday fisticuffs, naughty weekends for Mr and Mrs Smith, classic car runs from London, the UK's biggest gay scene and the Channel's best clubbing, this city by the sea evokes many images for the British. One thing is certain: with its bohemian, cosmopolitan and hedonistic vibe, Brighton is where England's seaside experience goes from cold to cool. Brighton rocks all year round, but really comes to life during the summer months when tourists and revellers from London pour into the city, keen to explore the city's legendary nightlife, summer festivals and quirky shops. The highlight for the sightseeing visitor is, without doubt, the weird and wonderful Royal Pavilion, a 19th-century party palace built by the Prince Regent, who kicked off Brighton's enduring love of the outlandish." Source: Lonely Planet
"Where the hats, boots and utes are big… but the bulls are even bigger. With over 2.5 million cattle within a 250km radius of Rockhampton, it's called Australia's Beef Capital for a reason. This sprawling country town is the administrative and commercial centre of central Queensland, its wide streets and fine Victorian-era buildings (take a stroll down Quay St) reflecting the region's prosperous 19th-century heyday of gold and copper mining and beef-cattle industry. Straddling the Tropic of Capricorn, Rocky can be aptly scorching. It's 40km inland and lacks coastal sea breezes; summers are often unbearably humid. The town has a smattering of attractions but is best seen as a gateway to the coastal gems of Yeppoon and Great Keppel Island." Source: Lonely Planet