(Photo: Thames War Memorial Civic Centre, on Mary Street) Concept plans for the revitalisation of the centre of Thames are being drawn up thanks to $30,000 of funding the Thames Community Board has allocated. The initial concept plans will draw on ideas containedin the Thames+ Urban Development Strategy and proposals raised at a workshopin August attended by the Community Board, theThames Business Association and the Thames Public Art Trust. Boffa Miskell, who designed the popular WhitiangaTown Centre Upgrade, has beencommissioned to draw up the plans. They’ll look at establishing a plaza in Mary St near the intersection with Pollen St, the future use of the War Memorial Civic Centre, the future use of the building currently used by Wintec (which is owned by our Council), and concepts for Pollen Street, for example street landscaping. “We have an opportunity to revitalise the CBD area through the creation of a functional, vibrant, centrally located public place alongside a vibrant Pollen Street,”says Erin Bates, our Council’s District Manager South. After the elections, the Thames Community Board will examine the concept plans and consider the project for inclusion in the 2021-31 Long Term Plan (LTP). The LTP goes out for public consultation early in 2021 and that’s when more detailed planning, budgets and the effect on rates will be available for people to examine and give our Council feedback on. This early planning to give the town centre of Thames a facelift comes as the Thames Business Association is putting together a series of pop-up lunchtime and evening events to inject some buzz into Thames and demonstrate how the plaza in front of the Civic Centre can be used for public gatherings and entertainment. The Thames Business Association is billing the event series “Live Time Thames Civic Square”. It’s a free showcase of local performance art and includes storytelling, music and dancers. All events are on a Friday and are family friendly and alcohol free. 25 October: 12pm – 2pm. Kick off Labour Weekend at lunchtime. 8 November: 12pm – 2pm. Get fired up for Steampunk the Thames. 13 December: 5pm – 7:40pm. This one ties in with the Twilight Santa Parade down Pollen St. 20 December: 5pm – 7:40pm. Merry Christmas.