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Cobourg Downtown Vitalization project reports progress

Cecilia Nasmith

By Cecilia Nasmith, Northumberland Today


A vision statement has emerged from the Cobourg Downtown Vitalization initiative, business development officer Kevin Narraway reported this week.

A collaborative subcommittee of residents, business owners, members of the Downtown Vitalization Task Force members and Town of Cobourg staffers crafted the statement they believe describes the purpose, values and inspiration for the vitalization of Cobourg’s downtown:

Downtown Cobourg is Ontario’s foremost cultural and recreational small town destination, forged from a beautifully preserved historic community on the waterfront. As the economic hub of Northumberland County, it delivers accessible experiences and opportunities generated from local agriculture, environmental consciousness and active, health-centered living.

Key strategic elements have also been developed by working teams comprised of downtown business owners and members of the public, Narraway added:

• Engage public and stakeholders

• Identify and establish a cornerstone business or businesses supportive of Cobourg’s economic development strategy

• Establish a motivating, consistent Cobourg position/brand statement

• Resource funds

• Establish criteria for new downtown retail category attraction

• Create a strategy for a sustainable, educated workforce, including a youth strategy

• Facilitate physical improvement/beautification of downtown buildings and effective design of public spaces

• Establish key performance indicators to measure the success of this program on an ongoing basis

• Enhance the cultural significance of the downtown

Narraway said that the creation of a successful downtown relies on its ability to attract as many people as possible, both residents and visitors. The Cobourg Downtown Vitalization initiative will work toward accomplishing this in a number of ways, including the development of a variety of interesting businesses, the creation and improvement of public gathering areas and a comfortable pedestrian landscape rich in culture and heritage.

With the vision statement in place, along with a number of key strategic elements linked to it, Narraway said the next step will be developing action items — the building blocks to construct the foundation of a new direction for a prosperous, vibrant downtown.

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