Renewal and new energy in Maitland Street

January 2, 2015

This year has seen several changes in the Maitland Street business community, with more changes to take effect in the new year.

The year began with the sale of the Bingara Pharmacy to brothers, John and Mena Shawky. John and Mena immediately became involved in the local community, and 12 months on, have earned the title of ‘locals’.

Debbie Bancroft’s Upcycled was forced to relocate from Cunningham Street about seven months ago. The only space Debbie could find was the back of building at 30 Maitland Street, facing Memorial Avenue. She persevered there until this month when the sale of the building meant she was able to extend her space to a Maitland Street shopfront. Already, the move is paying dividends with more people coming through her door.

The other half of that building also sees a new tenant, Bingara Smiles Dental Clinic, with dentist Rani Gopa working in Bingara every Tuesday.

During the year, the Roxy Café closed, but reopened in early August.

In June, the Council leased the Medical Centre to Rural and Remote Medical Services. The only change to the operation is that Council no longer pays the staff wages.

Bingara IGA and Hardware underwent major renovations during the year, and last week celebrated the ‘new look’ store. Owners, John and Karen Bishton used local tradesmen, and are very pleased with the result. Customers have also found the new design to their liking.

After three years on the market, Carlton and Linda Orr sold the Bingara Licenced Post Office to a local family, the Adams.

Postmaster, Kris, has settled into his new role, and Carlton and Linda moved to Coffs harbour to be closer to family.

The beginning of 2015 will see the ownership of long standing business, H (Roy) Miller, change. Robert and Judy Northcott have sold the business to JA McGregor Livestock and Property.

Robert and Judy will continue working in the business for some months.

Although she does not have a shopfront, personal trainer, Elise McLennan is becoming very involved in the business community through her business, Elise’s Fitness. Elise takes part in business promotions, and provides the Advocate with a light-hearted weekly column ‘From Frumpy to Fabulous’.

Another new business, Ray White Rural Bingara, opened at the beginning of December. For owners, Russell and Christine Smyth, the business is an extension of their involvement in the livestock industry. Ray White Rural occupies the shop left vacant when the Radiance Club closed its shop.

Skye Austin and Bradley Craddock are the new owners of Lush Hair and Beauty Haven, formerly LaVogue Hair and Beauty. Skye’s mother, Cindy Austin, has closed her business, Cindy’s, to become part of Sky’s team at Lush.

The Sportsman’s Hotel has been sod and the new owners took over the end of December.

There will also be a change at the Bingara Advocate, with proprietor, Nancy Capel, taking a back seat. Kristen Heal will become the Editor, while Anne Brien will manage the office. They will continue to be assisted by Kerry Mitchell and Peggy Greacen.