Making downtown Lewisporte a hub for tourists and locals, and tying it into the Lewisporte Marina, is at the heart of a recent study.
The final version of the Lewisporte Downtown Redevelopment Study was presented to groups in the town July 7.
It was an initiative of the Lewis-porte Economic Development Com-mittee and was prepared by ADI Ltd. and the Newfoundland and Labrador Consulting Engineers.
Committee representative Perry Pond, Lewisporte's town manager, said the report is getting good reviews.
It contains a proposed conceptual plan for redeveloping the downtown, focusing on the marina as a generator of land- and marine-based tourism.
The plan lays out a strategy for design improvements, marketing, organization and economic development over five to 10 years.
Pond said the study has broken the plan into phases.
Already, $600,000 worth of funding applications have been submitted for Phase 1, which deals with streetscape development and beautification.
"We are moving from the concept stage to bricks and mortar, where things actually start happening on the ground," Pond said.
"To be successful, we have to transfer the ideas on paper to things people in the community can see. This type of (streetscape) development is important when it comes to tourism and business opportunities."
Early improvements would include clean-up and repair, the reorganization of existing features and the replacement of others. The work would take in sidewalks, lighting, information gateways and general beautification work.
The plan encourages the adoption of a nautical theme using the town logo with its stylized ship, making the connection between the town, its downtown and the marina.
The town hopes to get funding approval and have the streetscape work done in the next year or two.
Other phases include a visitor information centre, facade improvements and new development to make the downtown more attractive; a feasibility study on the possible expansion of the marina; arts and cultural programs; active transportation opportunities (human-powered forms of travel); marketing; exploring various tax incentives for businesses; and a walkway system along the waterfront.
Pond said he hopes Lewisporte can duplicate Carbonear's redevelopment success.
"They were part of a Heritage Canada Downtown Redevelopment project in the 1990s (as were St. John's and Corner Brook)," he said.
"We hope to follow in their footsteps of how this can work."
The study will tie into the Marina Development Plan that is expected to be completed by the fall.
Pond said when that happens they can look at the downtown study more closely to see what developments can play off of and benefit each other.