Macksville's rich heritage being restored

WORK has begun to transform five of Macksville's historic buildings to their former glory.

In 2018, at a meeting held by the Nambucca Business Advisory Council, Rachel Ward unveiled her schematic design to the audience which suggested how the River Street facade could be restored and colourfully reinvigorated.

Heritage expert, Alan Rudge of Alan Rudge Architects, was appointed by council for the scheme that offered funding assistance to all Macksville main street property owners. This was a NSW Government initiative to assist North Coast towns then being 'cut off' from the Pacific Highway.

The project now encompasses the restoration of the original buildings and construction of new verandahs at Rob Torelli's Hair Saloon, The Nambucca River Department Store, The Bridge Café, The Valley Emporium and The Remnant Basket.

Like Bellingen and Ulmarra, Macksville was once a bustling North Coast river port town and this work has been designed to restore the spirit of the original, with hopes for a flow-on effect to other businesses in Macksville.

Mr Rudge said the reinstatement of the verandah at Torelli's Hair Saloon had led to a potential ground-level conversion and restaurant addition.

As well, The Nambucca River Department Store is currently in negotiations with Essential Energy for relocating overhead powerlines. Once all parties agree, there are plans for not only the reinstated verandah but shop-top studios apartments and a roof-top café where patrons would be able to look across a landscaped courtyard and out to the river.

With the three tenancies on River St a completely new streetscape will emerge, with enhanced al-fresco dining and conversion of the service alley between the Bridge Café and Valley Emporium.

This will allow patrons to enjoy a laneway dining experience - with river views!

There has been a lot of community support for the Macksville Main Street Project, from Rachel Ward, the Nambucca Business Advisory Council, and through donations of paint and equipment from Mitre 10 Macksville and Rob McWilliams.

General manager Michael Coulter, councillors and council staff have given much time and planning assistance to process all the multitude of necessary approvals for work in the CBD.

Construction has started and is due to be completed by July-August.

For inquiries, call Alan Rudge Architects on 6568-9007 or 0409 891-796.

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