Glen Innes Severn Council has hit the accelerator on an innovative new project to drive the local economy into a new period of prosperity.
Utilising a $616,861 bushfire recovery grant the council plans to transform a disused car retail premises into the Highlands Business and Community Hub.
Once operational, the 'Highlands Hub' will deliver a co-working space where businesses can develop ideas and conduct training, workshops and conferences.
Glen Innes Severn Council Manager Economic Development Margot Davis said the project was central to the town's future economic development.
"Our community identified the need for a co-working space as part of the consultation for the new Economic Development Strategy," Ms Davis said.
"Through the Highlands Hub the community will be provided with a place to be inspired, connected, supported, and open opportunities for business based education initiatives.
"It will also provide an opportunity for Glen Innes to tap into the business events market," she said.
With the fit out to start hopefully by October, Ms Davis said this was a very exciting time for the town and she was looking forward to having the project delivered by May next year.
Annoucning the state government funding, Northen Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said the local community was brimming with economic and tourism potential, with its proximity to Queensland and location at the intersection of the New England and Gwydir Highways.
"Since the devastating Black Summer bushfires council has taken it upon itself to establish infrastructure which creates new business opportunities and encourages innovation," Mr Marshall said.
"This funding will cover the cost of fitting out the Highlands Hub."
That will include setting up 10 new office spaces and an inspiring training facility to run workshops and programs.
The building will also be the home of the Grow Glen Innes Think Tank (GGITT). This community base body is being established to provide local feedback, experience and ideas on council's economic development policies.
"Conveniently located, I commend council for utilising what was a large vacant space on the main street," Mr Marshall said.
"The Highlands Hub is community collaboration at its best and I look forward to seeing the exciting initiatives and programs which are developed within its walls in the years to come."
The funding has been delivered through Stage Two of the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, co-funded by the NSW and Australian Governments.
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