James Street Cultural Precinct

You can view the James Street Cultural Precinct Concept Design below.

 Esperance Shire Council appointed award-winning architectural firm, CHRISTOU Design Group (CHRISTOU), to complete

  • Delivery of detailed concept designs,
  • A business case to attract project funding, and a
  • Place Management Plan to guide project staging and implementation for the James Street Cultural Precinct.

Information that was released during previous engagement can be found below.


The James Street Precinct planning process commenced in early 2020 with the initial round of community engagement being undertaken in September 2020, when a large range of potential opportunities within the precinct were identified by the community.

Three scenarios were developed with a comprehensive engagement process then undertaken to garner as much feedback as possible from throughout the community.

Following the second round of engagement, community feedback was analysed to inform the final development plan. The key elements of the plan are:

  • New collocated facility built to house library, visitor information centre, volunteer support centre, flexible community and arts spaces, commercial hospitality offering, and museum (further work still needs to be done to determine if this is the majority of the collection or just the portion requiring a higher level of care than can be provided in the existing facility).
  • Flexible approach to the Goods Shed depending on level of museum relocation to new collocated facility.
  • Ensure a high degree of heritage interpretation throughout the precinct.
  • Replacement playground for Grace Darling Park on Dempster Street (incorporating the positive features of Grace Darling Park).
  • Provide a replacement performance area for the demolished sound shell to support more events and improved eventgoer experience.
  • Retain Museum Village in its current form/location, with the option to relocate into the precinct core, pending a review of operations following initial precinct upgrades. Improve connectivity with the rest of the precinct in the meantime.
  • Improve vehicle and pedestrian access and connections.
  • General improvements to grounds surrounding the RSL building and ANZAC memorial.
  • Demolish Sports House. Retain the CWA building in its current form and functions.
  • Improve landscape outcomes including a potential new water feature.

The James Street Cultural Precinct Development Plan (October 2021) provides full details on the proposed plan along with staging and implementation recommendations. The limited remaining effective life of the existing library has been a major informing element within the staging process.

The final development plan as presented has been developed with significant input from throughout the community.


Informed by the background review, engagement workshops & community consultation and guidance from the Shire, Place Laboratory formed a series of guiding principles:

  • A Taste of Esperance
  • A Home for All
  • Culture Club
  • Holiday Place
  • Coastal Life

From here, three scenarios were envisioned for the James Street Cultural Precinct:

  • The Garden Collective
  • The Super Village
  • The Heritage Spine

Each option offered distinct elements and an overall vision for the area, which addressed the needs and opportunities of various target audiences. Consultants analysed the benefits of each option and provided a comparative analysis of each option for the Shire’s consideration.

We called on communities within our shire to give feedback and suggestions on these three scenarios by completing the James Street Cultural Precinct Survey.

We understood one scenario was not necessarily the be all and end all, so tell we asked our community what they liked from each scenario and to create a map of what they thought the Precinct could look like, using the elements provided in the Interactive Map.

James Street Cultural Precinct Masterplan - Masterplan Scenario Summary April 2021


Community consultation ended 4 June 2021. Thank you to everyone that participated.


In September 2020, consultants Place Laboratory and Shire representatives held a number of discussions and engagement workshops with James Street & Esperance Museum Village businesses, including various interest groups and the wider community.

Participants provided feedback on how they used the precinct, what the area meant to them; and how they would like to see it develop into the future.




 Stakeholder Engagement Summary

James Street Precinct Conversation Engagement Booklet


The Desktop Review was undertaken by Place Laboratory and Pracsys in mid 2020.

This stage involved Place Laboratory and Pracsys reviewing the Regional Growth Plan, Town Centre Revitalisation Master Plan, Parking Strategy, Landscape Strategy and Economic Stragety, as well as other feasibility plans, before commencing the consultation process with the Esperance community.


The Town Centre Revitalisation Masterplan was finalised in 2015. Since then a number of projects have been undertaken including the Parking Strategy and a CBD Landscaping Plan that has started to be rolled out within the CBD area. The James Street Precinct Concept Plan is the next project to build upon the Masterplan.

The Masterplan identified a number of additional uses that could potentially be located within the James Street Cultural Precinct including;

  • the Esperance Public Library
  • the Esperance Visitor Centre
  • various community facilities
  • an art space gallery
  • a public market area
  • arts & crafts spaces
  • Esperance Museum Village.

This is not a definitive list, but rather examples of the possible uses that would best activate the precinct and support each other via a co-location.

Documents & Maps

Media Release - James Street Cultural Precinct to Take Shape - 24 August 2022

Media Release - James Street Cultural Precinct Takes the Next Step - 24 March 2022

Media Release - James Street Precinct Development Master Plan - 30 November 2021

James Street Cultural Precinct Masterplan - Masterplan Scenario Summary April 2021

James Street Cultural Precinct Masterplan - Stakeholder Engagement Summary

Media Release - James Street Cultural Precinct Engagement - 03 April 2021

Esperance Town Centre Revitalisation Master Plan 2015-2035

Study Area is identified in the map below