The retail precinct of Rupanyup in Flow's Wimmera region will be rejuvenated through a community led initiative, backed by the Victorian State Government.
Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development and Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford was in Rupanyup last Friday to announce the State contribution of $500,000 to breathe new life into the town.
The significant monetary contribution will go towards Rupanyup's Retail Hub to enable the community-led consortia to purchase the town’s ailing supermarket and develop a ‘mall-style’ operation in a new building, which has plans to include a pharmacy, cafe, community spaces and office and meeting areas.
As Rupanyup and Minyip recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first community bank in Australia, the investment couldn’t come at a better time to revitalise the town.
Before the plan, Rupanyup was facing the loss of its only supermarket, putting it at risk of losing existing families and further population decline – which would threaten the viability of the town.
Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford said: “Rupanyup is home to Australia’s first community bank, and the same team behind its success are now driving this project, which we are so proud to support.
“No one should ever underestimate the value of people power.
"The Rupanyup community spoke, we listened and now we’re delivering the revitalisation that locals deserve – because locals know best.”
A partnership between Bendigo Bank, Yarriambiack Shire, Enterprise Rupanyup and the local community raised more than $700,000 to develop the retail hub, while investing in additional services.
The Rupanyup Market Centre is expected to generate six full-time positions and capitalise on the visitor growth of the Silo Art Trail.