"YOU come down beautiful Victoria Street and you run into this total eyesore."
That is the sentiment from businesses who have welcomed the federal government's initiative to spend to $450,000 in upgrading security and amenity of Little Bridge Street.
The "blight" on the entrance to Ballarat will see new 10 new CCTV cameras, new lighting and upgraded security initiatives as part of the funding.
READ MORE: Plans unveiled to reopen Bridge Mall
Wen and Ware manager Wendy McLachlan said she was thrilled that after many decades something appeared to be happening to the derelict part of the city.
"It's fantastic, I'm thrilled," she said, "It's something that's been in the pipeline for some time.
"Personally, I've been a very strong advocate for something to be done.
"This is the entrance to our city, it's a total eyesore and it's full of anti-social behavior, it's a blight on Ballarat."
"At the western end you see the.genuine commuters but for some reason the anti-social behaviour is at the east endWen and Ware manager Wendy McLachlan
Ms McLachlan said she couldn't pin-point what made the area so dangerous.
"It attracts the unsavoury element," she said. "At the western end you see the.genuine commuters but for some reason the anti-social behaviour is at the east end.
"Since we've had the Protective Service Officers (PSO) up there, it has made a difference.
"But the more beautiful we can make it, hopefully it will attract less of that element."
The Courier approached a number of other businesses along the strip including Collins Bookstore, Nextra Newsagent and UFS Dispensary, but all would not comment when asked.
Ms McLachlan said she hoped this upgrade, plus the planned opening up of the Bridge Mall to traffic, would be a boon for business going forward.
"I've spent 33 years in the mall in various forms, I very much looking forward to the opening of it up," she said. "We have a store in Geelong in Pakington Street, I would love to see Bridge Mall be similar to what's there."
Ballarat MP Catherine King said the grant will go a long way towards making Ballarat's public transport safer for everyone in our community.
"I am sure that the City of Ballarat will make the most of this funding to make improvements that deter any anti-social behaviour that does occur," she said.
Have you signed up to The Courier's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.