State Government grant to rejuvenate Little Africa precinct

Published on 22 July 2022

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Located in the heart of Footscray – in between Irving and Paisley Streets – Little Africa celebrates the many cultures of that continent, offering a unique mix of food, fashion, craft and homewares.

Here you can get anything from Somali sambusa pastries to home-made Ethiopian berberie (red pepper) to a varied selection of halal meats. A quick walk to Nicholson Street will take you to the Footscray Business Centre arcade, where you can peruse some of the most colourful garments imaginable.

Council, will be applying a $300,000 grant from the State Government's Creating Safer Places program, to revitalise the Little Africa precinct (in partnership with Victoria Police, Public Realm Lab, Africause and local traders) to encourage more visitors to the area to enjoy outdoor dining and retail shopping.

Minister for Crime Prevention, Anthony Carbines, Minister, Katie Hall MP and Mayor, Cr Anthony Tran recently celebrated the announcement of the grant at The Footscray Connectivity Centre.

Mayor, Cr Anthony Tran hopes the grant, which was the maximum available, will encourage more visitors to explore the area to enjoy outdoor dining and retail shopping further invigorating this important cultural space.

 “We know from speaking to traders that many people throughout Victoria travel long distances to buy produce and cultural items from this particular precinct,” Mayor Tran said.  

“We also anticipate through continued investment in this area – through lighting upgrades and shopfront and street activation – new audiences will discover the charm and diverse offerings of Little Africa, helping to also revitalise the commercial centre of Footscray,” he continued.

Council will be installing decorative feature lighting, which will help illuminate the street, and piloting the creative activation of long term empty shop fronts on Nicholson Street. This will involve this will once a month night-time closures of the street, in consultation with traders, to draw more visitors to the area at night to be part of an open-air dining and shopping experience.

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