First grant paid to quake-hit suburb

Edgeware Village businesses will get a $10,000 boost from the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust to help promote the precinct and win back shoppers.

This is the first confirmed grant from $140,000 the trust has earmarked for the revitalisation of earthquake-affected suburban precincts in Christchurch.

The $10,000 for Edgeware Village, along with financial support from the Canterbury Business Recovery Trust and the businesses themselves, will go towards a planned promotional campaign.

The campaign will include mailbox drops, advertising, the development of a website and Edgeware Village brand, signs and the hosting of a pre-Christmas event.

Edgeware Business Association spokesman Chris Timbs said the funding would make a massive difference to the businesses in Edgeware, especially those that were reopening now.

"With the extensive disruption in Edgeware, many locals have changed their habits and are now bypassing Edgeware,'' he said.

"This funding is going to help us turn that around by promoting Edgeware as the local village that is well and truly open again for business." 

The association was formed after the quakes as businesses battled forced closures, disruption caused by infrastructure works and customer flight.

Timbs said the association was one positive to come from the quakes.

"Forming the association brought all the businesses together and got us working in the same direction, and we are getting real value from that already,'' he said..

"We have accepted that we are a small village and that gives us a uniqueness and charm, which is what we are now working together to promote."

Recover Canterbury business recovery co-ordinator Sonia Prince said the businesses had developed a strong network in a short period.

"They have worked proactively to develop a clear plan to promote their suburb and bring back the much-needed retail activity, which will benefit not only these businesses but also the wider community," she said.

Recover Canterbury is working with other suburban precincts that may be suitable for funding from the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust, including Rangiora, Papanui, Merivale, Sydenham, Lyttelton and Kaiapoi. 

The funding is distributed through Recover Canterbury and each application to the fund needs approval from the trust.

Suburban business groups interested in this initiative can call Recover Canterbury on 0800 50 50 96.

The Press