The shop owners at the Hewitt Street centre in Colyton couldn’t be prouder of their businesses and suburb, but they do believe they need a helping hand.
The centre is dated and is need of simple changes such as signage throughout the local streets, new gardens, more accessible parking spots and lighting.
“Other shopping centres have signs in the local streets directing people to their centres, we need that street signage installed by Council,” says Cheryl Henderson of Cheryl’s Hairdressing Salon.
“Also, I’d like to see Jensen Street reopened. It used to connect to Roper Road and ever since the government closed it, our business has been reduced.
“We want to be part of the community but we need people to be more aware that we are here.”
The owners of Foley’s Butchers said that they too would like to see the community support their local shops.
“We have great stores here, a great IGA, great takeaway food, the chemist and GP services,” the owners said.
“What were are missing though is nice gardens, and the footpaths need improving as they are a trip hazard.”
Hoa Mai runs the Colyton Centre Pharmacy and is very passionate about the area.
“We don’t want to see little centres like our own closing up,” he said.
“We employ local people and there are many older residents who much prefer to visit a smaller shopping centre that is close to home.”
He said that graffiti has been an issue in the past although police have been targeting the area and there have been improvements.
“Speaking generally, I think that Councils need to have the power to step in and become involved with small shopping centres,” he said.
“There are often foreign owners who do not want to spend any money maintaining or upgrading these centres and they fall into decline.”
Mr Mai said that he would love to see the shop owners partner with groups in the community or Penrith Council to revitalise Colyton.
“There were plans at one stage for a mural, but that fell through. It would be great if we could form other partnerships and become a greater part of the community,” he said.