© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

New Brighton businesses plant trees and flower boxes to help with regeneration

Liam Hayes
New Brighton Mall 1
New Brighton Mall.  Geoff Sloan

A regeneration fund from Development Christchurch has been used to make New Brighton Mall a better place.

Development Christchurch's regeneration fund was started last year to help business owners regenerate their local area.

New Brighton businesses have applied for the fund both to undertake small projects themselves and to take part in a collective effort to change the environment of New Brighton Mall. 

Hairdresser Jaimee Dillon said she knew nothing about the regeneration fund until Blair Hughes from the Paper Plus store told her about it. She had put in planter boxes and a living wall outside her shop before finding out about the fund.

Dillon said the idea had "just popped into her head one day". She had planted herbs, such as coriander, and a lemon tree, which she said has filled what was a "dreary open space".

She said she hoped other businesses would find out about the fund and bring their ideas to fruition because cost often prevented people like herself from undertaking projects.

New Brighton Paper Plus manager Blair Hughes said several businesses in the mall had been working on a beautification project, which would involve installing seating, artwork, bike racks and planting trees.

He said that BearLion's owners, John and Alesha Bilbrough-Collins, had spearheaded the project, which was ultimately a collaboration between businesses in the mall such as Switch Espresso, Mike Pero and P.J Jeans.

Hughes said the project demonstrated New Brighton businesses had pride in the community.

He hoped the end result of the project would be more visitors to the mall, which had been stagnant for a while.

Coastal-Burwood Community Board Chairwoman Kim Money said businesses from the New Brighton Mall arcade had made "a real visual impact" on the area.