BallaratEvolve_Logo.jpg

WHAT IS BALLARAT EVOLVE?

Ballarat Evolve is a trial program supported by the Ballarat Arts Foundation. This program is investigating the sustainability of linking private businesses with micro-creative enterprises and artists, and permitting access to empty retail spaces throughout the regional city's central business district - focusing on fast tracking the city's evolution.

WHAT IS THE REASON FOR BALLARAT EVOLVE?

Ballarat Evolve was borne out of genuine interest from local traders. Interested groups started to notice the changing profile of the inner city streets, and a private initiative was undertaken. Volunteers logged empty retail environments in a selected area of the CBD, noting those buildings highlighted with a 'For Lease', 'For Sale' and those which were clearly empty. This was matched with attitudinal research of 220 individuals living, using and working in the heart of the city.

Do you believe the centre of Ballarat is changing?

Ballarat Public Use Survey, February 2018 - 222 respondents

Ballarat Public Use Survey, February 2018 - 222 respondents

The locations in the Ballarat central business district carrying 'For Lease', 'For Sale' or are visibly derelict. This was a moment in time in February / March 2018, and does not take into account spaces which could not be seen from public land, such as office blocks.

The locations in the Ballarat central business district carrying 'For Lease', 'For Sale' or are visibly derelict. This was a moment in time in February / March 2018, and does not take into account spaces which could not be seen from public land, such as office blocks.

62% of people believe there are fewer people shopping in the heart of Ballarat compared to a year ago.
— Ballarat Public Use Survey, Feb 2018
87% of those who live and work in Ballarat believe that there are many empty shops in the heart of the city.
— Ballarat Public Use Survey, Feb 2018

WHY waS THE BALLARAT ARTS FOUNDATION INVOLVED?

The Ballarat Arts Foundation was approached with the concept to support a trial, investigating the feasibility of placing creative arts practitioners and small businesses into identified empty retail environments. Ballarat Arts Foundation, as the city's primary grant-maker to the creative and arts community, agreed to support the project's trial till the end of December 2018. The Ballarat Arts Foundation assessed applicants, coordinated the profiling matching of applicants to suitable locations in conjunction with the landlords and their representative agents.

The trial program successfully completed at the end of 2018, with four artists installed in a shared building on Sturt Street. The trial resulted in the establishment of the incorporated association, Ballarat Evolve Creative Industries Inc. This group has now kickstarted 6 different locations and artist spaces around the city.

 
 
84% of people in Ballarat believe that empty retail shops should be made available to micro-businesses and enterprises.
— Ballarat Public Use Survey, Feb 2018