The heart of Newcastle’s cultural precinct will come to life this Friday 25 October from 4-7pm to celebrate the opening of Laman Street.

General Manager KEN GOULDTHORP says work to move utilities, reconstruct the road and create a shared plaza for pedestrians and traffic is now complete and visitors to the area will be able to enjoy much improved access to two of our most popular attractions Newcastle Art Gallery and Newcastle Region Library.

“This has been a significant infrastructure project with the majority of the work happening below the surface. The state of the art design and construction has been completed to accommodate very large trees in the public domain including water sensitive urban design components including porous paving that will direct storm water into the area around tree roots.”

“When fully grown, the 12 new Hills figs will provide similar canopy as removed trees with design life of 70 to 100 years.”

“The city has a fantastic new shared space which is pedestrian and cycle friendly and accessible to all. There is a focus on the cultural precinct with power available for public events as well as better access to the Memorial Grove, Newcastle Art Gallery and Newcastle Region Library.”

The reconstruction of Laman Street was managed by The City for Newcastle and the work, completed by both council staff and contractors, was completed on time and on budget. The total cost for the reconstruction of the street with $2.2 million.

To celebrate the completion of works a street party has been organised. There will be entertainment, jumping castles, face painting, food and craft stalls on the street as well as a critter show from the team at Blackbutt Reserve. Newcastle Art Gallery will be open late and there are offering all visitors to the event free entry to their fashionable current exhibition After Five: Fashion from the Darnell Collection.

Newcastle Region Library will also be open and they have organised for the Lovett Gallery to open late so visitors will be able to check out the fantastic Remote and Wild exhibition.

Rosie’s School of Rock will be performing live in the library forecourt from 6pm to 7pm and there will be live Jazz downstairs at Newcastle Art Gallery.

This celebration will mark a fresh start for the precinct and everyone can come along and enjoy the free entertainment and exhibitions, browse through the markets stalls and grab a twilight alfresco dinner.