Vibrant Cargo Shed envisioned

By Kiri Gillespie

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Plans for a "new and exciting" revamped Cargo Shed have been revealed ahead of a presentation to the Tauranga City Council on Monday.

The concept plan will be put forward by the Creative Tauranga Charitable Trust, which aimed to provide a fresh and vibrant venue targeting local people, Chairman Grant Sowter said. "It's about having a lot of energy, really appealing to the locals before we appeal to the tourists. The reality is it's a Tauranga venue. It's a massive facility right on our waterfront. If we locals don't think it's worth going to, it kind of becomes out of sync."

The new-look Cargo Shed would be renamed to reflect a more vibrant and energetic feel, Mr Sowter said.

"We like that idea of the 'people's market' or 'people's bazaar' where you walk in and there's lots of noise, lots of different people there doing different things - just a fun and interesting place to go."

Mr Sowter said the original idea to refresh the Cargo Shed formed at the beginning of the year but the concept proposal was only put together in the past couple of weeks.

"It probably came together so quickly because we had been thinking about it," Mr Sowter said.


 


The trust rang creative representatives from other regions to gauge how popular the traditional stallholder concept was and found it was not appealing anywhere any more, Mr Sowter said.

"People's expectations when it comes to art, their perceptions are constantly changing," he said.

"It [the stallholder concept] was appropriate at the time but people have moved on. Ten years ago farmers' markets and flea markets were small affairs but now they are really big ... We need to treat this with the same respect and that's what we are trying to do by presenting a really interesting model and getting interesting people involved."

The rebranded Cargo Shed would host some key tenants while also hosting others on more of a revolving basis to ensure a fresh feel. It would also have inside seating and cafes.

When asked how much the concept was expected to cost, Mr Sowter said it was too early to say because that depended on agreements with potential tenants, expected to cover some of the financial outlay.

The trust could only begin to negotiate with tenants if they received approval from the council, following the presentation. The new name was also yet to be finalised.

"It's about being progressive and constantly evolving and stepping into what we really believe what we are as a city, which is not a sleepy but exciting place to live in," he said.

Last week the council asked prospective leaseholders to prove themselves following clashes between stallholders and Creative Tauranga when the stallholders were asked to vacate the space for plans to modernise the building.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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