Peterborough’s million-dollar main street makeover has instilled new confidence in the once-struggling Mid North town.
The revamped facades and fresh LED lighting were on display when Frome MP Geoff Brock visited last Wednesday.
Mr Brock stood with Mayor Ruth Whittle and community development officer Nicole Lewis outside one of the businesses whose appearances have been transformed.
“It is absolutely fantastic,” Mr Brock said.
“It has changed the whole image of the main street.
“I had been trying to get up here for some months now to see what is happening.
“I have been promoting the developments in my travels.”
Mrs Whittle said she was “blown away” by the project and that it had emboldened the Peterborough District Council when considering whether to go ahead with a $17.6 million effluent scheme.
She said previously the council would have been “tarred and feathered” for looking at such an option, but now it had been widely accepted.
“We have been brave and know that it is good for the future,” she said.
Community development officer Miss Lewis is now spearheading the introduction of a drop-In centre for young people with premises to be situated in the main street.
The Youth Driver Training Program is flourishing with a car being provided for a small fee to young people to pursue driving lessons.
This is seen as crucial in getting the young people job-ready and has further developed confidence in the town.
Wi-fi access points in the street were activated at the weekend.
Meanwhile, a businessperson’s association is being formed to add flair to the enterprising main street upgrade.
Miss Lewis said almost $1.3 million had been invested in the venture which was not finished yet.
“The community seems to have really come on board,” she said.
She said the Peterborough Business Association would be a local version of a chamber commerce.
“In small towns, businesses need to support each other.”
As part of the development, stretches of the footpath will be extended into the street and space provided for outdoor dining.
Miss Lewis, who has an office in the street, said many people visited her to discuss the project.
She was praised by Mr Brock for her strong efforts in promoting the town and overseeing the work.
With the new street lighting providing a beacon for locals, Peterborough is shining.