Creating extraordinary places

UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation’s vision is to inspire and enable the creation of extraordinary places, including at Parramatta North.

For the past year, we have been working to create an aspirational place identity for Parramatta North’s publicly owned, nationally listed heritage core that is locally contextual, globally relevant and seeks to fill an unmet need in a rapidly developing urban landscape.

To inform this place’s identity and establish place principles, we have sought the knowledge and perspectives of many community members and precinct partners to better understand their values, views and vision for the site.

These conversations are shaping an emerging vision for the future identity of this unique place, including appropriate future uses and benefits for the community.

Listening and learning about the many layers of history within the Heritage Core is helping UrbanGrowth NSW plan for an extraordinary place that will evolve with current and future generations. It will also ensure that any plans for activation respect the past and honour Parramatta North’s stories and memories. 

Place Identity

What is a 'Place Vision'?

A place vision is a blueprint or guide that can be used to shape the future uses and activities.  It creates a foundation, while allowing for a place to evolve and grow. The vision helps to guide decisions on future uses, amenities, services and activities that will attract people to a place or precinct and add value to the community.

What is a 'Place Identity'?

The place identity provides a guiding framework for how the place vision and outcomes can come to life and evolve in partnership with the community and future occupants of the site.

Who has been consulted?

In the past year we have worked collaboratively with the City of Parramatta Council, the National Trust (NSW), Parramatta Female Factory Friends, Parragirls, Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land Council and the Parramatta District Men’s Shed through the Parramatta North Collaboration Framework to discuss possible uses and outcomes for the Heritage Core.

During late September and October 2018, UrbanGrowth NSW held a stakeholder engagement process to develop a future vision and place identity for the Heritage Core.

We engaged a diverse range of stakeholders, including Darug and other Aboriginal people that have traditional and historical cultural connection to the place, representatives from a range of social, cultural, economic and environmental organisations, neighbouring residents, community organisations, local service providers and a number of health workers who currently occupy the site.

Future user groups were identified and focus groups were consulted to better understand their needs and aspirations, and to understand how they might support and connect to the precinct in the future.

What is the emerging vision for Parramatta North?

The NSW Government is making long term investments that will result in increased connections in the area as well as increased opportunities for employment and education.

The Heritage Core will play an important role in supporting the NSW Government’s recently announced Cumberland Health, Education and Innovation Precinct (Cumberland Precinct). The NSW Government is in negotiations with the University of Sydney to establish a multidisciplinary campus over Cumberland Hospital West and part of Cumberland East.

The Heritage Core has many possibilities including the potential to become a creative industries hub, with spaces for innovative and social enterprises, and arts and cultural uses, within walking distance from Parramatta’s CBD and serviced by the new Parramatta Light Rail and the extension of the Sydney Metro West line to Westmead.

How will the Heritage Core fit in to the area's wider plans?

Our recent conversations, combined with previous reports, studies and community engagement activities, are enabling UrbanGrowth NSW to create a shared vision and develop a unique place in the Central River City that respects the area’s rich and difficult past while being inclusive of the broader community and positive about its future.

The nationally-listed Heritage Core will remain in public ownership.

Adjacent and to the north of the Heritage Core, a master plan for the Cumberland Precinct will be developed to create an active, permeable University town that will include diverse housing options for students, staff and the wider Parramatta community, serviced by the Sydney Metro West station at Westmead and Parramatta Light Rail stops. 

What is the emerging vision for the Heritage Core?

Forever Country.

Parramatta North is a place of stories. A place where past lessons fuel future opportunities. Culturally significant, community inspired and economically vibrant, Parramatta North will bring to life old buildings, new spaces and ideas, in a place of discovery, opportunity, reflection and experience. 

What are the place principles for the Heritage Core?

Following our consultation, place principles were established that will guide the site’s evolution and tie together the future occupants and partners.

Place principles:

  • First Peoples First: First Peoples First is intrinsically related to the recognition and inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by others involved in any activities that occur on the site.  We recognise traditional custodianship and enable a process of inclusivity that guarantees Aboriginal voices, perspectives and insights are captured throughout.
  • Active Memory: Both living and past histories are respected, where we move forward to heal and honour people’s stories and realities past and present. The lessons from the past are applied and acknowledged to prevent similar struggles from recurring and improve on the status quo.
  • Sustainable: A mix of activities and uses that can contribute to the place identity (both public and private) to enable the long-term success of the site.  Innovative ways to sustain and evolve the site that push the boundaries of traditional government ownership and governance will be explored.
  • Everybody’s Welcome: This place is a safe place for all. There will be a multitude of uses for the community and will work to ensure the site remains an accessible place where everybody feels safe, secure and welcome, especially during this period of immense change.

What are the place outcomes?

The vision will be brought to life through uses, programs, services and activities that reflect four place outcomes:

  • Restoration and Enterprise: a vibrant and active place where memory is turned into action. Acknowledging histories and focusing on the future to heal, support and strengthen.
  • Connection and Production: a publicly accessible activity hub that celebrates the heritage buildings and their settings with spaces for the community and opportunities for inspiration, connection, gathering and making.
  • Innovation and Collaboration: an economically viable, commercially competitive hub to accommodate a wide range of innovative business including cultural and creative industries.
  • Rejuvenation and Recreation: green and blue spaces for reflection, education and imagination. A future riverside destination that provides a living link to the past and future.

You can find out more on the vision, principles and outcomes and how they were developed through an executive summary and community engagement report

Will you continue to talk to the community and other stakeholders?

Yes, community feedback will be sought during the master planning process for the Cumberland Health, Education and Innovation Precinct.

Can you list the unmet needs of the region?

The Engagement Summary report provides further insight and key themes discovered throughout the targeted community consultation which occurred in 2018.

What is the Registration of Interest?

Why is UrbanGrowth NSW seeking a ROI for the Heritage Core?

Registrations of Interest (ROI) are invited from organisations interested in working with UrbanGrowth NSW to realise the potential of the Parramatta North Heritage Core.  We are looking for ideas for uses, programs, services and activities that could take place in buildings and public open spaces to activate this historic precinct.

Responses to the ROI will provide an evidence base to inform the formulation of next steps that may include a procurement strategy for the Heritage Core.

Submitting a proposal is an opportunity to contribute to the creation of a unique place that benefits the community of Parramatta and beyond.  From the submissions, participants may be identified that can work with UrbanGrowth NSW to realise the emerging vision for the Heritage Core that has been developed through consultation with the community and stakeholders.

The ROI will support future planning for:

  • the future use and occupancy of buildings;
  • temporary activation in the open spaces and spaces between buildings; 
  • prioritising Heritage repairs to support increased public access; and
  • the development of a procurement strategy and recommendations to Government for future uses in the Heritage Core.

During our recent consultation, some of the opportunities identified included:

  • innovation and social enterprises as part of a new innovative business hub;
  • cultural and arts infrastructure as part of an emerging creative hub;
  • social and community infrastructure;
  • creative industries, and 
  • cultural, arts and creative events and activities for existing and new audiences.

When will the ROI open and close?

Registrations of Interest will open on Thursday 6 December 2018 and close 3pm on Monday 25 February 2019.

What are the key dates?

Key Dates

ROI Launch and release: Thursday 6 December 2018
Closing Time: 3pm Monday 18 February 2019

Site visits

Interested participants are invited to register for scheduled site tours.  
Site tours run for approximately 90 minutes.

Site tour 1 - 12pm 18 December 2018
Site tour 2 - 9.30am 10 January 2019
Site tour 3 - 9.30am 24 January 2019
Site tour 4 - 10am 9 February 2019
Site tour 5 - 9.30am 13 February 2019
Site tour 6 - 10am 16 February 2019

Information Session

Interested participants are invited to attend an information session which
will provide a further explanation of the ROI process.

Information Session 1:
11am Thursday 24 January 2019
Information Session 2:
11.30am Saturday 9 February 2019
Information Session 3:
11.30am Saturday 16 February

Who can participate?

The Registration of Interest is open to anyone.

You can be a not-for-profit, a social enterprise, a start-up, an innovator, a commercial enterprise, a community or volunteer group, a sole trader, or an individual with a great idea that aligns with the vision for the site.

This is an open invitation for cultural heritage and arts organisations, social enterprises and creative industries, particularly those with local and cultural links, to come forward and work with us to create a unique hub of collaboration and ideas in Western Sydney.

This also creates an opportunity for intergenerational economic and social empowerment in the years ahead.

We encourage applications from: 

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and organisations 
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse individuals and organisations
  • Individuals and organisations with experience working in Western Sydney

What happens after the ROI closes?

ROI responses will be assessed by a committee and all participants will be placed in a database. The database will not be an exclusive or exhaustive list but will be used to inform procurement pathways for next steps.

After UrbanGrowth NSW considers the appropriate procurement pathways and processes, some participants may progress sooner than others depending on the scope of the proposal and the availability of space.

Some spaces may be made available on a temporary or more permanent basis through appropriate procurement pathways and processes.

As needs arise, ROI participants will be informed of next steps, and are welcome to contact UrbanGrowth NSW for further discussion.

UrbanGrowth NSW reserves the right to proceed or not proceed with any ROI response or to seek further proposals from others if the ROI responses do not suitably achieve the objectives for the project or take any action it considers appropriate in relation to the ROI and Heritage Core.

Is there an extension to the deadline?

No. UrbanGrowth NSW has extended the Registrations of Interest (ROI) process for the Parramatta North Heritage Core for an extra week. This is due to storm damage forcing the cancellation of a ROI site tour and information session on Saturday 8 February. The ROI will now close at 3pm on Monday 25 February.

What happens to unsuccessful proposals? Will they be considered in the future?

ROI responses will be assessed by a committee and all participants will be placed in a database. The database will not be an exclusive or exhaustive list but will be used to inform procurement pathways for next steps. The assessment committee will recommend how participants may be engaged in future procurement pathways.

Is there a public criteria or weighted scoring system?

ROI submissions will be assessed against the following:

  • A clearly defined and well considered proposal that is viable and will positively contribute to the vision, principles and place outcomes for Parramatta North.
  • Activities and uses which are beneficial to the community and enable safe, welcoming and inclusive spaces for everybody.
  • Participants who can work in partnership with others to achieve the vision and place outcomes.
  • Participants with ability to contribute to the proposal and can work collaboratively and flexibly with Government on the locations, timing and form of agreement.

Participants who have the experience and ability to realise the proposal.

How can I register?

How can I register my interest?

To read about the process and complete an application please click here.

Can I talk to someone about my Registration of Interest?

In response to feedback, UrbanGrowth NSW has engaged PwC Indigenous Consulting as an independent consultant to provide support for organisations and individuals wishing to complete the ROI submission form.

This assistance is free and available to any ROI applicant. These sessions will be held on a confidential basis and is completely independent from the ROI assessment process and Assessment Committee. Interested individuals and businesses requiring support to complete their ROI submission form can arrange an appointment during the session times at 1 Fleet Street, North Parramatta by contacting Joshua Gilbert from PwC:

Contact name: Joshua Gilbert
Email: joshua.gilbert@pwc.com
Phone: 02 8266 0013

Should a response to the ROI include a staged offering - what is required now and in the future?

We are looking for ideas for uses, programs, services and activities that could take place in buildings and public open spaces to activate this historic precinct. Responses to the ROI will provide an evidence base to inform next steps that may include a procurement strategy. Submit an application that best reflects your idea’s purpose.

Does the ROI application need to involve the history?

This is a call for ideas and purpose assessed against the Parramatta North vision and place principles.

What is the process map of the ROI?

PN ROI process time3

What is the procurement pathway?

Procurement is the process of acquiring goods, services or works from an external source (including agreeing terms) often via a tendering or competitive bidding process. The NSW Government observes the following general probity principles in all its procurement:

a)      Maintaining impartiality

b)      Maintaining accountability and transparency

c)      Managing conflicts of interest

d)      Maintaining confidentiality

e)      Obtaining best value for money

f)       Providing a fair chance to do business with government.

Can I attach additional documentation to support my proposal?

Yes. You can include up to three A3 pages of images, graphics or sketches to support your idea to a maximum file size of 5MB.

Should we submit sketches for our operations currently or sketches of our proposed operations in the future?

You should submit material that best reflects your idea’s purpose. You can include up to three A3 pages of images, graphics or sketches to support your idea to a maximum file size of 5MB.

Can I include letters of support with my proposal?

Yes. these may be included in the additional support material.

You can include up to three A3 pages of images, graphics or sketches to support your idea to a maximum file size of 5MB.

Are you looking at proposals for the next 2 – 3 years?

The ROI will inform recommendations to Government for future uses, including recommendations as to timing. 

How detailed do our proposals need to be?

Please provide the amount of detail that you feel is relevant to best express your proposal within the maximum word limits and support material outlined on the ROI submission form.

Can we submit activations that are ready to go now?

Yes.

Can you give examples of the title of a proposal?

The title of your proposal may be the name of your business, organisation, service or idea. If you don’t have a formal title you may describe the key purpose or idea.

When will the site be ready for activation?

UrbanGrowth NSW is planning for the future use of the Heritage Core and the outcomes of the ROI will help inform that planning. After UrbanGrowth NSW considers the appropriate procurement pathways and processes, some participants may progress sooner than others depending on the scope of the proposal and the availability of space.

Some spaces may be made available on a temporary or more permanent basis through appropriate procurement pathways and processes.

Will more information be required for UrbanGrowth NSW to make decisions?

UrbanGrowth NSW may seek additional information or clarification from participants if required.

How do we protect our IP?

Please see the information on Confidentiality and Intellectual Property in the ROI Terms and Conditions.

If one ROI applicant has multiple ideas, do you need to submit a separate ROI for each idea?

You are welcome to submit multiple ideas in one ROI response. If you feel you need to submit a separate ROI to best express more than one idea, you may submit more than one ROI.

What happens if you don’t put an ROI in?

The ROI process will inform future government decisions with the Heritage Core including the development of a procurement strategy. There may be further opportunities for people to participate in future procurement processes. These will be advertised on our website, social media channels and through our Parramatta North newsletter.

The Heritage Core Site

Is there a masterplan of the site?

We are working with Health Infrastructure NSW and the University of Sydney on a masterplan for the Cumberland Health, Education and Innovation Precinct at the northern end of the site, which will interface with and be supported by a vibrant Heritage Core. Following the ROI, a report will be prepared to inform future government decisions within the Heritage Precinct. The NSW Government may seek greater market involvement and commitment during 2019.

Will the Heritage Core remain publicly owned?

The nationally listed Heritage Core will remain in public ownership for current and future generations.

Why is the title of the Heritage Core changing?

We want to ensure the land titles are consistent with the boundary of the National Heritage Listing. UrbanGrowth NSW will consult with the City of Parramatta Council to separate the Heritage Core from other parcels of land.

What are the next steps for the Heritage Core?

Following the ROI, a report will be prepared to inform future government decisions within the Heritage Precinct. The NSW Government may seek greater market involvement and commitment during 2019.

Why is Kellar House being demolished and when?

According the Conservation Management Plan, Keller House has been identified as a building with little heritage significance. No decision has been made on the future of this building. 

Is the laundry included in the ROI?

This building is currently licensed to Parragirls. The ROI is a call for submissions for uses, programs, services and activities that could take place in any of the buildings and spaces in the Heritage Core.

Will there be any heritage or conservation restrictions on the site?

This is a call for ideas and purpose assessed against the Parramatta North vision and place principles.

This is a heritage precinct that is on the National Heritage List. Any building work or adaptation must work within the Conservation Management Plan and requires heritage approval.

Can I see inside the buildings?

We are holding a series of site tours and participants will be taken through some of the buildings. A number of buildings are currently occupied.

Can we request building measurements?

Building measurements will not be made available during the ROI process for buildings within the Heritage Core. This is a call for ideas and assessed against the Parramatta North vision and place principles.

When will the buildings become available?

Buildings will become available progressively as NSW Health services are relocated and the buildings receive service upgrades and undergo conservation works.

Is there any disabled access or plans for universal design?

Many of the buildings are of heritage value and do not comply with current disability access codes. UrbanGrowth NSW is currently working to balance access needs and heritage requirements.

Can you list open spaces which are heritage listed?

The entire 7.5 hectares of the Parramatta North Heritage Core is on the National Heritage List, including all buildings and open spaces.

Has a Heritage Management Plan been developed for the whole site?

Yes, the Consolidated Conservation Management Plan will govern the sustainable management of the heritage values of the Parramatta North Historic Core.  Please see the Conservation Management Plan 

Are walls of high heritage significance?

Yes. The significance of walls in the Heritage Core is outlined in the Conservation Management Plan. 

Do buildings and uses have to go to heritage for approval?

This is a heritage precinct that is on the National Heritage List and State Heritage Register. Any building work or adaptation must work within the Conservation Management Plan and requires heritage approval.

Is there car spacing available?

The area will be serviced by the Parramatta Light Rail. There is limited car spacing available on site.  UrbanGrowth NSW is currently working on a car parking strategy to balance site needs and Heritage requirements. 

Will there be any new buildings in the Heritage Core?

There are no plans for new buildings in the Heritage Core.

In the longer term, our heritage architects have identified two possible sites that could support new buildings to house public amenities. These would be sensitive to the history and scale of the site and its archaeology and the view lines of the Heritage Core.

Will the river be opened up?

UrbanGrowth NSW is looking to inspire and enable rejuvenation of the river foreshore to make it a destination for families and the general community wanting access for social and recreational activities.

Is there anything specialist within the buildings eg. Commercial kitchen?

Yes, a former commercial kitchen is located within the South West Range. This needs significant repair work which is anticipated to take place during 2019 subject to approval. 

Is there any licensing for alcohol restrictions? Bar only vs restaurant?

UrbanGrowth NSW is not responsible for issuing liquor licences for bars or restaurants.  Any licence for alcohol would need to go through the usual approval processes.

What are the opportunities on the site? Is there opportunity for new buildings, new infrastructure, plumbing etc?

There are no plans for new buildings in the Heritage Core. This is a heritage precinct that is Nationally listed. Any building works or adaptation would need to work within the Conservation Management Plan and would require heritage approval. 

How do we find out more about surrounding activities in the precinct?

Our website and social media channels will be updated with news on the Parramatta North precinct. 

Is information on the management of grey headed flying foxes available?

There is a Grey Headed Flying Fox colony on the site.  As this is a threatened ecological species, there are procedures in place to avoid disturbing their habitat. Further information can be found in the Parramatta River Grey–Headed Flying Fox Camp Management Plan.

Works & Governance of the Site

Will building works be undertaken by Registrant or UrbanGrowth NSW?

UrbanGrowth NSW’s role is to conserve and protect the buildings. Fit out is to be determined as part of the assessment process. 

What is the intended governance of the site/buildings?

  • who is responsible for ongoing maintenance of the building and/or site?
  • rent - is it intended to be strata?
  • rent - will it be proportional and scaled for not for profit, community etc.

The Heritage Core will remain in government ownership.  This ROI process will help to inform future government decisions within the Heritage Core including in relation to occupancy and governance.

Is it possible for UrbanGrowth NSW to facilitate/share partnership opportunities prior to ROI close? We have this interest, can UrbanGrowth identify who is available to partner?

UrbanGrowth NSW will not facilitate partnerships prior to the close of the ROI.

Who will be the managing body after proposals have been approved?

The Heritage Core will remain in government ownership.  This ROI process will help inform future government decisions within the Heritage Core including occupancy and governance.

Has UrbanGrowth NSW looked at other governance models?

This ROI process will help inform future government decisions within the Heritage Core including in relation to governance.

What is the governance proposed for the site?

Governance will be determined as a part of the ROI outcomes.

Funding & Other Bodies

Will there be any funding available?

The ROI is not a request for funding. Any requests for grant funding for organisations should go through the normal grant processes. One of the place principles for the Heritage Core is for a sustainable mix of activities and uses to enable to long term success of the site.

Will grants or financial assistance be available from government?

The ROI is not a request for funding. Any requests for grants or funding for organisations should go through normal grant processes. 

Will Sydney University be in the Heritage Core?

We will be working with Sydney University on a masterplan for the Cumberland Health, Education and Innovation Precinct which will interface with and be supported by a vibrant Heritage Core.

Will health ultimately move off site?

Buildings will become available progressively as NSW Health services are relocated and the buildings receive service upgrades and undergo conservation works.

What is Westmead bringing to this?

Health Infrastructure NSW is working with UrbanGrowth NSW and the University of Sydney on the masterplan for the Cumberland Health, Education and Innovation Precinct, which is not part of the Heritage Precinct or ROI process.

Will government agencies be invited to submit ROI?

The ROI is open to any organisation. Government agencies are welcome to submit a proposal.

Can you help me source contributions from additional investors?

The ROI is not a request for funding and UrbanGrowth NSW is not able to assist in sourcing investors for your proposal. 

How can Government make a submission outside the ROI process?

The heritage core is a large area and this announcement not only demonstrates the NSW Government’s commitment to Parramatta North but will support the long-awaited activation of the precinct.

How will you assess community submissions against government proposals?

All submissions will be assessed against criteria including timing and alignment with the emerging vision for the site and place identity. For further details, see our Parramatta North Heritage Core Vision.

How can community compete with government for funding and space?

The ROI is not a request for funding. We are looking for ideas for uses, programs, services and activities in relation to buildings and open spaces that can make a valuable contribution to the site's place emerging vision and place outcomes. You can be a not-for-profit, a social enterprise, a start-up, an innovator, a commercial enterprise, a community or volunteer group, a sole trader, or an individual with a great idea that aligns with the vision for the site.

The NSW Government as the landowner may identify opportunities that fit with the emerging vision and place identity and meet policy priorities for the Parramatta North Growth Centre. 

Will government submissions have priorities over community proposals?

All submissions will be considered in accordance with the ROI Terms and Conditions.  UrbanGrowth NSW has engaged PwC Indigenous Consulting to provide independent advice and support for organisations and individuals wishing to complete the ROI submission form. This assistance is available free of charge.