Hargreaves Mall bus stop. Photo: BILL CONROY.

Plans to create a commercial pop-up opportunity were first advertised in mid-2018, in response to feedback from traders, business leaders and shoppers who had criticised the decision to locate the bus shelter in the mall.

A City of Greater Bendigo spokesperson this week confirmed the project would not proceed in the fashion originally envisaged, but added traders were supportive of the concept to revitalise the mall, especially via commercial activity that does not detract from present and primary uses.

“It’s about getting more commercial activity down that end of the mall,” the spokesperson said.

She added a pop up park installed in the central mall area has been well received and has proven popular with shoppers and their children during the busy Christmas period, and has also drawn support and appreciation from traders.

Under the stalled plan to transform the bus shelter, approximately 135 square metres of prime public space was to be revamped to ‘take advantage of the different seasons’, and the opportunities to utilise the space were to have been short term, with projects to feature innovation, a creative element and be sourced or made locally.

Traders and business leaders maintain the shelter is a magnet for anti-social behaviour that had impacted more broadly upon the mall and upon trade in the immediate vicinity.

The City of Greater Bendigo has previously described  the planned repurposing of the bus shelter as a high priority, “given that it is not performing the function that it was intended to and that it has sustained  significant damage in recent months”.