Plans have been revealed to transform the former Bundaberg Fire Station, which has been part of the CBD for over 60 years, into an arts and wellbeing community centre.
Bridges Health and Community Care has recently purchased the property on Woongarra Street with big plans to create a ‘natural space' for people to connect.
From this location, Bridges plans to continue to deliver its Mental Health, NDIS, Disability Employment Services and Youth Bail Support services to the Bundaberg community.
The mental health organisation has been operating in the Bundaberg Region for more than 23 years.
CEO Sharon Cera said when the fire station went up for sale it was the perfect opportunity for a new centre.
“We already have office space in Bundaberg but decided it was time we bought our own facility,” she said.
“We hope to turn it into a fantastic community space with an eatery, coffee shop, library, meeting rooms and lots of workshop areas.
“It will be an arts and wellbeing space rather than a clinical service – we want people to come in here and feel that it is a natural environment to come and have a chat.”
Sharon said the building would pay homage to the old fire station, with elements of art and history to be detailed in the design by consulting with current and former emergency personnel.
“We want the community to be able to come in and see what a fire station is like,” she said.
“So, we will build these ideas into the plans to include art installations that will honour our firies and people can go through and look at the history of the fire station.”
Sharon hoped the space would be transformed and ready for use by the community in the next 18 months.
In addition, this new space would boast new social enterprises for the wider Bundaberg community members to be part of.
She said the proposed development reinforced Bridges’ commitment as an organisation that invests in its community, for the Wide Bay-Burnett Region.