Heritage report aims to enhance Childers streetscape

Paragon Theatre, Childers streetscape report
Childers' Main Street features beautiful heritage buildings including the stunning Paragon Theatre.

Consultants engaged by Childers Chamber of Commerce have recommended measures to maintain and enhance the historic Childers streetscape.

Few will argue that the main street of Childers with its heritage facade creates a distinct yesteryear charm and provides one of the most aesthetically captivating locations along the national highway.

The Childers Chamber of Commerce recognises the streetscape currently plays a significant role in encouraging visitors and is likely to do so in the decades ahead.

Chamber president Teena Mammino said a report had been commissioned by the Chamber through the engagement of heritage consultants Converge Heritage and Community with the objective of providing a strategy for the ongoing management of heritage listed buildings.

“There are 22 places in Churchill Street that are listed on the Queensland Heritage Register while Council has provided planning recognition for this precinct under the Neighbourhood Character overlay within its Planning Scheme.

“The consultants informed their draft strategy through a high-level assessment of 10 properties located on the south side of Churchill Street.

Colour and signage suggestions

“There are some obvious recommendations contained within the strategy including a suggested colour palette to promote a uniform approach to heritage colours. Likewise signage could use heritage lettering to complement buildings and avoid what the consultant’s term as “visual clutter”.

Chamber president Teena Mammino
Childers Chamber president Teena Mammino.

Ms Mammino said lighting was also identified as a means of adding dramatic effect, security and general illumination to showcase the heritage aspects of the main street.

“Converge maintains that particular attention needs to be paid to shopfronts and windows which should not be obscured with decals or significant signwriting. Street furniture is an important part of the strategy as it provides opportunities to create nodes for social interaction as well as places of rest.

“It is interesting that Converge recommends the use of the former Isis Shire logo as a good means of promoting the history of the town and the district as long as appropriate explanations of its significance is also provided.”

Options available for Council support

Ms Mammino said the report recommended several means by which Council could assist with the ongoing promotion of the heritage aspects of Childers. The introduction of heritage grants, rate discounts or facilitating specialist advice to owners by heritage professionals including architects and pre-qualified tradespeople.

“To protect this unique asset, Converge promotes the preparation and legislation of a Heritage Streetscape Policy for the CBD section of Churchill Street. Council could also involve itself in facilitating heritage tourism through the use of a previous Converge document – Historic Heritage Tourism Strategy.”

Mrs Mammino said some of the innovation suggested by Converge includes the use of QR codes to relate the historic aspects of each building and involvement in the Open House program currently utilised in Bundaberg.

The main street of Childers.
The main street of Childers.

“The Chamber of Commerce will have a defined role in progressing any adopted recommendations from the Converge report and this may include liaising with Council and consultants and pursuing funding options including grant writing.

Heritage workshop planned

“Converge has also developed the framework for a heritage workshop which will provide property owners and occupiers with an opportunity to understand the implications and benefits of any heritage conservation associated with their individual buildings.

“Chamber members are soon to be asked to respond to the draft report and once these views have been canvassed it will provide an opportunity to set a date and engage in the proposed workshop,” said Ms Mammino.

The Childers Chamber of Commerce Heritage Study and Workshop was funded with a grant of $19,500 by Bundaberg Regional Council.