Sydneys laneways coming alive

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The CBDs laneways and forgotten spaces will be come back to life with the help of two new measures announced by City of Sydney today.

A report to Councils Cultural Community Services Committee on Monday 28 July 2008 recommends offering business development grants of up to $30,000, encouraging the creation of small retail, service and hospitality businesses.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said the City will also host a new temporary laneway art program By George! from October 3, as part of this years Art & About festival, with artists transforming four laneways off George Street.

"Enlivening our laneways is part of the Sustainable Sydney 2030 vision to create a more vibrant city centre," said Ms Moore.

"The City is excited about the potential to reactivate these forgotten pockets throughout Sydney and By George! is an exciting program building on the Citys successful Live Lanes program in 2007."

"This issue is about more than small bars. Our initiatives such as the Laneways Business Development Program encourage everything from small-scale specialist retail and fashion, to entertainment and creative uses that will add a new dimension to the types of businesses in the city centre."

One-off cash grants could be available to businesses to build diverse and innovative ideas for small CBD spaces which can activate blank, vacant or empty areas.

Businesses will need to match the Citys cash grant dollar-for-dollar and meet the selection criteria. The business can then use the grant to help fund capital works such as fit out, new equipment or other costs associated with setting up the business.

A Business Development Officer will also advise potential business operators, property owners and other local stakeholders on creating successful businesses in laneways and how to navigate through the various approvals.

"These measures will help innovative small businesses get started, work with property owners to identify potential spaces and draw in residents and visitors through inspiring creative programs like By George!," said Ms Moore.

By George! artworks will utilise their surroundings, encouraging people to explore their city. The artworks will be found in: