By Claire Ottaviano
A DREAM to create a community-based caravan park complete with a market village supporting local businesses has become a reality for Perth Hills Caravan Park owner Shorelle Watkins.
The mother-of-three bought the caravan park, formerly known as Nalgoo Inn and later Mahogany News and Supermarket, in March 2020 with a vision to revive it has a community hub.
In under a year, the prominent Great Eastern Highway site has undergone a transformation.
The caravan park has been revamped with new grass, a communal area with fire pit, a phone booth tourist information stand and improvements to camping and caravanning sites.
The inside of the old Mahogany News and Supermarket, now market village, is unrecognisable.
The formerly empty rooms now cater for a market village where local small businesses can bring their items for sale.
“COVID-19 was hard, especially for market stall holders,” Ms Watkins said.
“I always had that vision of this becoming a market village.
“When those markets were all shutdown, this gave them somewhere to put their stock on a full time basis in a permanent position.”
Earlier this month the Shire of Mundaring granted the Perth Hills Caravan Park a $13,392 Resilience Grant to build more stalls and cabinetry, install signage and pay for a staff member to run the market.
Mundaring Council said it had been a trying year for micro businesses and tourism and the grant would aid the recovery of both.
Grant applications for Rebuild and Resilience grants from the Shire of Mundaring’s Recover Together COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund close on March 1.
In the past six months the Shire has awarded $119,032 for seven Rebuild and two Resilience grants to support community initiatives including workshops aimed at upskilling local business owners, free outdoor movies, a local business voucher book, a parenting program and a community consultation and feasibility study.
Information on the grants can be found at www.mundaring.wa.gov.au