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James Street Cultural Precinct


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James Street Cultural Precinct

This Project aims to enhance the James Street experience for the community and visitors and to identify opportunities to make the precinct economically sustainable and active.



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.


Have a read of the Stakeholder Engagement Summary here.

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.


Question & Answer

Why is the Shire doing this?

The Shire is looking to develop a plan for the whole of the James Street area in order to help guide future development so that community outcomes are maximised.

The catalyst for undertaking this work is the need to renew the building in which the Esperance Public Library currently operates out of, and a proposal Council received in 2019 to consider relocating the Visitor Centre to a location in close proximity to the Museum.

When is public consultation happening?

Initial community consultation started back in September 2020 with key stakeholder groups and interested community members.

The second phase of community consultation is taking place 3 May -  3 June 2021.

Feedback on the three proposed James Street Cultural Precinct scenarios can be seen here:  

If you (or a group you’re involved with) would like further information before providing your feedback please email: to arrange a meeting.

How can we have our say?

An interactive map and survey is available HERE.

If you’d like to arrange an information session specifically for your group, please contact Trevor Ayers on 9071 0644 or email:

Are you going to knock down the CWA hall?

There are no plans to knock down the CWA Hall.

Will we still have a park?

Green space has been identified as an important element of the James Street Cultural Precinct within the original Masterplan, so yes, the area will still encompass parkland.

What is happening to Museum Village?

The Museum Village wasn’t included in the study area originally, however initial consultation has identified interest in the addition of the Village.

The Village regularly hosts popular markets and community gathering events. The space is currently detached from the rest of the James Street area by the Sound Shell amphitheater however, depending on feedback, it may be incorporated into the new, centralised design.

What is the next step after this consultation?

Finalising the design. 

Council may not decide on one of the specific concepts presented, but rather a hybrid of each. It’s all dependent on the information which is received from the community. Your options and ideas matter - this is why we are seeking your feedback.

What timeline is the Council looking at for implementation?

The timeline for implementation will be dependent on securing appropriate funding support/solutions. Council’s priority will be addressing the current library building which may be the first stage of this development.

How is the project going to be implemented?

To implement this project, Council will need to engage a variety of in-house and contracted services.  It is expected that some features of the project will fall under Council’s existing Asset Management Plan (for example, the Esperance Public Library).

Will there be enough parking?

This project will contain, at minimum, standard parking considerations as guided by the Esperance Town Centre Parking, Traffic & Pedestrian Strategy, as would any new Shire of Esperance development. The ability to accommodate large vehicles will also be considered and integrated. 

Will I be able to park at the foreshore?

Current parking along the Esperance waterfront/foreshore will not be impacted – they will remain.

How is this going to be paid for?

Council will advocate for grant funding from Federal, State and Lotterywest in order to help support the implementation of the project.  Partnerships will also be explored, including potential commercial arrangements. Part funding from rates, reserves and loans will be given consideration, if it is supported by the community.

Will my rates go up?

As with the running of all Shire related facilities and services, future rates will be used for ongoing operational and maintenance costs that this development will require.  

How will this affect my business in town?

The three different scenarios presented aim to activate the James Street area, having a positive flow on effect to surrounding businesses, including the Museum Village, Andrew Street and the Esperance CBD.

The James Street Cultural Precinct Plan links with the Town Centre Revitalisation Project Master Plan.

When is the town centre going to get some more plants and seats?

Further works are planned including the installation of street furniture, planter boxes, in fill planting along Andrew Street and landscaping in Dempster Street.   

Documents & Maps

James Street Cultural Precinct Masterplan - Masterplan Scenario Summary April 2021

James Street Cultural Precinct Masterplan - Stakeholder Engagement Summary

Esperance Town Centre Revitalisation Master Plan 2015-2035

Study Area is identified in the map below