TRENDY is not a word you would have used to describe Penrith ten years ago, but with the rising population and the access to affordable housing the CBD is moving with the times and a lot of people are saying the swing is back in Penrith.
Across the last 18 months Penrith has been reinvigorated by a number of trendy, city-style cafes, restaurants and bars setting up shop around High and Henry streets in the CBD.
Gai Hawthorn, CEO of Penrith CBD Corporation, said it has been a breath of fresh air for the community.
“People are really noticing a difference around Penrith,” Ms Hawthorn said. “It is great to know you don’t have to go all the way into the city to get fantastic food at great cafes.”
According to Ms Hawthorn the council has been the biggest help with the promotion of the local area.
“Through Penrith council promoting ‘invest in the west’ we have been able to bring a lot of business into the CBD,” she said. “The whole process is really putting Penrith on the map and people are starting to take notice, there is even a sense of pride around the area.”
One of the newest and most popular city-style cafes to open up in Penrith is the High Street Depot. Noreen Bryan and her husband Tim opened the High Street Depot around three years ago and said they’ve really noticed a difference in the area.
“We’re now getting in more and more businesspeople, there are mums and bubs coming in, you’ve got a lot of elderly customers as well,” she said.
“The place is really growing. Mrs Bryan said the businesses out west need to be progressive so they can keep up with the area.
“Being out west means you have to move with the times, you have to progress, because the growth in the area is bringing more people into Penrith,” she said.
“The place is really becoming a lot trendier.”
According to a population forecast study commissioned by Penrith council, the population of Penrith is expected to rise from just over 200,000 in 2016 to 256,000 in 2036.
Across the Penrith skyline there are currently 13 cranes all bringing new infrastructure to the city and Ms Hawthorn says the future growth depends on this new infrastructure.
“We’re looking at cranes in the CBD for the first time in a long time,” she said. “We have to be ready and open to the new trends and the big changes because in the future the new infrastructure will bring businesses and people to Penrith.”