Hamilton’s James Street Plaza is undergoing a make over, with the aim to make it a safer and more interactive space.

It is hoped shoppers visiting Beaumont Street will be more attracted to the area once the upgrade is complete.

Interactive lighting, developed in collaboration with the University of Newcastle, will be displayed which is intended to create interest and celebrate Hamilton’s unique character and heritage.

The community has been heavily involved in the discussion and planning of the plaza and businesses have had the chance to contribute ideas to the Newcastle City Council.

The safety of pedestrians at night was a major concern, as this space has been a targeted area of violence in the past.

Councillor Carol Duncan says the new design reflects the broad feedback from the community, as well as contributions from local historian Ruth Cotton, author of Hidden Hamilton.

“Etchings on ground paving and signage in the plaza have been informed by Ruth’s extensive, research of Hamilton’s history – from its traditional owners, through the suburb’s history as a mining settlement, its rich European influence from the Lettopalena Italian migrant community, and the impact of the 1989 earthquake,” Cr Duncan said.

Work is underway and is expected to be completed by 2021.

We will have more details tonight in our 6pm bulletin.