Work is about to start on the final stages of the Fitzroy Plaza project which will ensure it has more shade and comfortable seating.
Tamworth Regional Council Director Planning and Compliance, Brent McAlister, said some “pretty unique” living umbrellas will be the highlight of the first stage of the latest works, but first four mature Chinese Elms will be planted using a specialised system which waters and contains roots to stop any damage to underground services.
“The living umbrellas will have shade cloth, a mist spray and a vine growing across them plus seating underneath,” he said. “It will be a comfortable spot to spend some time.”
The installation of the first of the underground concrete vault systems will start on Saturday near the corner of Fitzroy and Peel streets. The work on all four is expected to take about four weeks. It has been scheduled o ensure the plaza is ready for use for Fiesta La Peel in October.
The second stage of the works, to be ready for the start of 2020 Tamworth Country Music Festival, will involve installation of the eight living umbrellas with seating underneath.
Tamworth Region Councillors decided earlier this year to use the remaining $349,000 in the Fitzroy Street Upgrade Project plus $465,885 from the Civic Construction reserve to fund the works. Councillors agreed more adequate shade and comfortable seating was crucial in making the space more enjoyable for the community to use daily and for key events.
The initial $4.5 million in street works for the Fitzroy Street transformation to provide a multi-purpose pedestrian friendly area started in May 2017 and were completed in early 2018.
The provision of specialised lighting and public art remain priorities for the space in the longer term.