Moving downtown

The announcement of a new site for the library and a new location for the arts centre will provide a much-needed boost.

The announcement of a new site for the Summerland Library and a new location for the Summerland Arts Centre will provide a much-needed boost to the core of the community.

For years, the library has been operating from a crowded facility on Wharton Street. The need for a new facility has been urgent.

While the Summerland Arts Centre has had a great location in the former municipal hall on Main Street, the proposed relocation could ultimately benefit the gallery as well.

Having a gallery in the commercial core of the community will bring plenty of exposure to the various exhibits and programs.

However, the biggest winner in Summerland’s arts and culture shuffle could be the downtown business community.

The character of Summerland’s core will shift from a retail zone to a mixture of shops and cultural facilities.

The cultural institutions will bring many people to the downtown core.

Last year, the library recorded more than 70,000 visits. Bringing these library users to a Main Street location will put them within easy access of the entire downtown retail sector.

While the Wharton Street location is less than one block from the new location, it was separate and out of sight of the retailers. At present, library users can easily bypass the retail shops.

This will change when the Main Street library location is completed.

As more people come to the downtown, for any reason, there are more opportunities for retailers to draw them into their businesses.

If the base of potential customers can expand, it can help existing Summerland businesses and provide incentives for new businesses to set up here.