Bringing bustle back to Whittlesea streets

Vacant property owner Jo is taking part in the program. (Supplied)

By Laura Michell

Whittlesea council is on a mission to “bring life” to the municipality’s shopping strips by matching vacant shops with businesses.

The Vacant to Vibrant program will begin with a campaign to fill several empty shops at Rochdale Square in Lalor.

Property owners Jo and John said they have been struggling to find a tenant for their property for some time. Their property is ideally suited to allied health or specialist consulting rooms.

“If there are multiple vacancies in an area, people start taking their business elsewhere, leading to a decline in foot traffic, causing hardship for remaining businesses and a decline in the vibrancy of a centre,” they said.

“We want to work together for the benefit of property owners, traders and local residents.”

The program will be run by the council’s economic development team. Partnerships, planning and engagement director Julian Edwards encouraged vacant retail property owners and businesses to make contact with the council.

“We’d also love to hear from start-ups or small businesses that might be interested in a pop-up or short-term agreement,” he said.

“We really want to do our best to find the right mix of local shops for each community and ensure local residents can continue to shop locally.”

For more information, phone 9217 2492, or email