Premier unveils new plan for Ballarat station precinct

BALLARAT'S Railway Station precinct will be transformed under a plan to completely refurbish the area.

However, despite launching the masterplan for the area on Thursday, Premier Denis Napthine did not announce any funding to move the project to the construction stage.

The first stage of the project would include moving the bus interchange to the northern side of the train station, improved car parking, a complete refurbishment of the heritage goods shed to turn it into an exhibition space and a public forecourt at the front of the goods shed, which could be used for public markets.

Further projects also include the potential for a four-and-a-half star hotel at the site, along with other private business opportunities.

An internal road would also be constructed linking Nolan and Lydiard Streets.

Dr Napthine said there would be further consultation before the plan was finalised, with funding announcements being considered at the end of the year or early next year.

"This is the launch of the plan so the people of Ballarat and interest groups like Committee for Ballarat and the Ballarat City Council can have their final say on the proposals," he said.

Dr Napthine said it was important to have a tick of approval from the community before funding would be considered.

Premier Denis Napthine at Ballarat station on Thursday. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

Premier Denis Napthine at Ballarat station on Thursday. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

Dr Napthine emphasised the importance of ensuring the heritage aspect of the area would be kept throughout the redevelopment

"We also want to use the under utilised land, the underutilised buildings so they can be best utilised in growing the opportunities and the economy in Ballarat."

The unveiling of the masterplan was conducted inside the almost refurbished North Building at the railway station, a $1.25 million project.

Ballarat Mayor Josh Morris said it was important to make the precinct as "alive as they possibly can".

"This whole plan is really important in ensuring the railway precinct is being as well utilised as it could be," he said.

Cr Morris said his favourite part of the plan was the 3000 square metre goods shed redevelopment, added that having a four-and-half-star hotel was crucial to the development of the area.

"We will continue to have conversations both with the government and the opposition about how critically important we see this masterplan being," he said.

"We are hopeful that we may be able to leverage some funding out of those conversations."

To see the full masterplan click here.

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