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14 February, 2022


CREATIVES, budding entrepreneurs and start-ups will have the opportunity to boost their exposure through a new Council initiative.

Photo | Dreamstime

Renew Cairns will connect start-ups and creatives with landlords to secure shopfronts in high profile parts of the Cairns CBD to allow them to trial their business ideas. 

In partnership with Renew Australia, the project works with owners and agents of vacant properties to borrow their spaces on a rolling 30-day license. 

Next week, there will be an information session for creatives, collectives, small business owners and community members to learn more and determine if their idea or project might be eligible for space in the city. 

Mayor Bob Manning said Renew Cairns would bring creativity, foot traffic and activity into the Cairns city centre while providing opportunities for new businesses and community initiatives to test their ideas at a minimal cost. 

“By working with property owners to activate vacant or underutilised commercial spaces, Renew Cairns can generate activity through occupancy, present these locations in a vibrant and active light, and offer spaces to people who make or create,” said Cr Manning. 

Newly-appointed local Renew Cairns project manager, Phil Druery, said similar initiatives had been successful in other parts of the country. 

“Dozens of artisans, performers and creative projects across Australia have launched or grown their business through Renew Australia initiatives in Docklands, Fitzroy St and Chapel St in Melbourne, and places like Wollongong, Newcastle, Burnie and Wagga,” Mr Druery said. 

“We are looking forward to similar successes for Cairns creative enterprises.” 

Cairns people who run workshops, exhibitions, interactive enterprises and events are also invited to learn about the project. 

“The use of the space is managed by Renew Australia, with insurance provided, and is offered to enterprises that complement, not compete with existing businesses in the area,” Mr Druery said. 

“Landlords or agents can continue to market their property when it is occupied, with the 30-day rolling licence agreement maximising flexibility.” 

Individuals, managing agents or property owners with vacant or underutilised spaces within the area are encouraged to contact the Renew Cairns Project Manager at 

Expressions of interest can be submitted to: 

The Renew Cairns Information Session for Creative Businesses & Community Groups will be held in the Cairns Regional Council Civic Reception Rooms, 119 Spence Street, Cairns City, on Wednesday 9 February 6pm. For bookings, go to: au/e/259259641567

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