Anna Bay to get 7-day makeover from November 30 to December 7.

LAUNCH: The call has gone out for Anna Bay businesses and volunteers to support and participate in the 7-day makeover.
LAUNCH: The call has gone out for Anna Bay businesses and volunteers to support and participate in the 7-day makeover.

Anna Bay will get its much anticipated 7-day makeover from November 30 to December 7.

And while many in the community are excited about the potential to transform the town into a more appealing town centre, there has been questions asked over the funding model.

In August Port Stephens councillors resolved to allocate $350,000 for Anna Bay works from its 2020 projects budget.

It has now been revealed that just $25,000 of the commitment would go towards the 7-day makeover.

The makeover team's fee has not been disclosed.

"The idea is that throughout the makeover process, in conjunction with the community, we identify the works needed in Anna Bay that can be achieved with the remainder," a council spokesperson said.

Tomaree Business Chamber president Leah Anderson said that the council contribution was in line with that of Mid Coast Council following its recent Tuncurry makeover.

"The Tuncurry community raised and matched the council's $25,000 making $50,000 available. I don't know how that will go down if they are expecting Anna Bay businesses to raise that extra money," she said.

MAKEOVER: The Tuncurry makeover saw 180 volunteers complete 20 projects along the 400m town centre strip, part of which is pictured. Picture: Supplied

MAKEOVER: The Tuncurry makeover saw 180 volunteers complete 20 projects along the 400m town centre strip, part of which is pictured. Picture: Supplied

Anna Bay Next Wave's Chontelle Grecian said they had queried the council on the funding.

"Now we know how much we need to raise locally. I guess a big focus for us will be to garner business and volunteers support," she said.

"We will continue to work closely with council and the makeover team to make sure everyone knows how to get involved, including taking volunteers via our website and Facebook page."

At a launch of the internationally acclaimed concept this week, Creative Communities founder David Engwicht said that the Anna Bay revamp would focus on one of three main sites - the shopping village, the grassed area separating the tavern and bottle shop and the wide footpath on the other side of the street.

"The first two days will be spent in a workshop, taking community ideas and planning the five-day work schedule. We hope to create a civic heart for Anna Bay, seating which is decorative and offers a social function and a monument reflecting the town's character and location," he said.

For 25 years, Mr Engwicht has been helping towns around the world transform tired, underused and unappreciated public spaces into vibrant community hubs.

"The secret to the success of the 7-day makeover is that it's driven by the public and works on a short timeline with a very limited budget."

Mr Engwicht said that community volunteers were vital. "This is not a 9-5 driven process, days can start or finish at 4am. There is also an emphasis on providing follow-up systems. We mentor residents and help them with skills and resources, as well as provide $4000 in grants."

Cr Sarah Smith described the concept as an exciting opportunity for Anna Bay.

"We have a proud and active community and this is the perfect program to help us call on that people-power to make some real, tangible changes in our beautiful town. David will teach us a whole new way to create great public spaces that is cheaper and delivers instant results," she said.

Cr Smith is encouraging everyone to register their interest. "I want people of all ages and abilities to participate, even for one hour."

Mr Engwicht will present an information night explaining how the makeover will work and how people can get involved at Anna Bay's Birubi Surf Club on October 29.

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