The Hornsby Shire Economic Development and Tourism Strategy, 2021-2026 was developed based on extensive desktop research and in depth, targeted stakeholder consultation and analysis. It presents a plan of action that builds on the Shire’s existing strengths to stimulate, support, attract and maintain business activity in Hornsby Shire.
The Hornsby Shire Economic Development and Tourism Strategy 2021-2026 contains three strategic themes:
- Connected Hornsby Shire – Establish and promote Hornsby Shire Council’s role and capacity as an enabler of economic development.
- Smart and Innovative Hornsby Shire – Establish Hornsby Shire as a globally connected smart and innovative Shire.
- Destination Hornsby Shire – Position Hornsby Shire as a location of choice for visitors and events.
Between the three themes there are 36 opportunities for action which were derived from the targeted interviews and desk top research utilised to develop the strategy.
The actions recommended for prioritisation within the strategy address core or foundational issues that will allow the themes to be progressed in a logical fashion. The recommended priority actions, in no order, are:
Priority 1 – Connected Hornsby Shire – Undertake a survey of small and home-based businesses to better understand the composition and needs of this sector.
During consultation and research, it was apparent that the Shire is home to a large number of small and home-based businesses and that Council has little to no understanding of their support needs or the opportunities that they might be seeking. As a foundational action associated with the Connected Hornsby Shire theme, commencing work on understanding the needs of business is an appropriate place to start and will likely confer benefits on the businesses of the Shire if needs can be identified and addressed.
Priority 2 – Connected Hornsby Shire – Establish functional partnerships and collaboration based on key project objectives.
This priority is founded on the notion that partnerships and collaboration including overseeing economic development initiatives need to be relevant to those that are contributing to them and also that, where possible, collaboration, committees and partnerships should be action orientated and outcome focused. The use of the collaborative model utilised in the development of the Waste Strategy, extended to include key stakeholders could form a useful basis for the development of key projects and relationships.
Council has also previously supported this priority (refer Report GM8/18), identifying the need for engagement with local Business Chambers, business networking groups and business support and training providers, as well as representatives from our town centres, home based business operators, emerging business owners and specific industry clusters, including tourism.
Priority 3 – Smart and Innovative Hornsby Shire – Progress the development of the ICT Strategy which takes into account consideration of digital and smart city opportunities.
This priority reflects the need to undertake some fundamental planning around how Council can best engage with digital and smart city initiatives and develop a clear understanding of the benefits prior to investing in technologies. The inclusion of this element in the Economic Development and Tourism Strategy is geared towards ensuring that businesses benefit from any investments that Council may make in smart cities infrastructure. The inclusion of smart city initiatives through upcoming major projects, Hornsby Town Centre Renewal, public domain and implementation of technology in future car parking management are practical examples of how this priority will be implemented.
Priority 4 – Destination Hornsby Shire – Commission the preparation of a Hornsby Shire Destination Management Plan for river and rural communities.
This priority reflects the need to have a strategic approach if Council is of the view to engage in supporting and encouraging tourism and day visitation in the Shire. The development of a Destination Management Plan would be completed in partnership with industry partners and would be designed to appropriately promote and manage visitation to the Shire to the benefit of businesses and residents in the Shire. This Plan will include some of Councils own unique assets such as Fagan Park in Galston and McKell Park in Brooklyn in addition to the multiple private facilities and destinations.
Priority 5 – Destination Hornsby Shire – Investigate means by which Hornsby Shire Council can help encourage or facilitate the development of a night-time economy in the Hornsby Town Centre.
This priority reflects work undertaken as part of the Hornsby Town Centre Project which outlines a vision of an active night-time economy creating a vibrant and attractive place.