Heritage listed Ginninderra Village to take on new life with ECEC at the heart
The owner of Ginninderra Village in the ACT suburb of Nicholls plans to open a 90-place childcare centre in the heritage precinct, saying there is unmet and growing demand in the area, local news source RiotACT has reported.
Ginninderra Village Pty Limited has applied for a lease variation to add the term “childcare centre” to the purpose clause of the village, and to add 500 square metres gross floor area for that use.
Owner Stan Waldren believes an early childhood setting would enhance the region’s economic diversity, activate an area that is otherwise under-utilised during the weekdays and increase employment prospects in the Gold Creek surrounds, local publication The RiotACT said.
Currently the Village spans nearly 12,000 square metres and comprises six single-storey buildings with a history of specialty arts and crafts, hospitality and other retail offerings, but has struggled in recent times.
Located in the tourist hub of Gold Creek Village, home to popular attractions including Cockington Green, the Australian Reptile Centre, the Bird Walk, Federation Square, the George Harcourt Inn and the National Dinosaur Museum, the Village was put onto the market last year, with the belief that having provision for childcare would make it easier to sell.
The childcare centre would occupy a number of buildings that were previously used for retail, including the school house buildings and residence. Different age groups would occupy separate buildings with the administration in another building, The Riot ACT shared.
Heritage requirements mean none of the buildings can be demolished but they can be modified with minor internal and external alterations as long as they do not adversely affect the heritage values. New buildings are also allowed where their design and siting will not impact the heritage values.
Gungahlin Community Council President Peter Elford said that as long as the proposal complied with the heritage listings he would welcome it as an activated space was more likely to be maintained and valued.
“I think it’s great that heritage buildings are activated rather than preserved in a glass case,” he told The Riot ACT.
To read the original coverage of this story, please see here.