The NSW government has given the green light for boutique micro-breweries and small-scale food manufacturers to set up in and around Orange’s CBD.
After a public consultation period, the government, this month, gave approval to change Orange’s zoning to allow the “artisan food and drink industry” into certain commercial zones*.
This means hand-crafted, boutique food and drink factories are permitted to set up in the CBD, and several other locations scattered throughout the city.
Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the changes, defined by the NSW government, would add to Orange’s envious reputation of being the food and wine destination of NSW.
“We’re talking about craft beers and liqueurs, food and oils made by hand, by Orange’s skilled craftspeople,” Cr Kidd.
“It’s trendy in the inner-city metropolitan areas to set up boutique breweries where people can see the beer being made during a tour or workshop and then sit down and have a drink.
“The issue is, these operations are a combination of industry and food retailing and by default have only been permitted in industrial zones.
“The changes would allow them to exist in commercial areas, which are more attractive to consumers, where they would be able to sell food, host tours and tastings.
“Thanks to this change in zoning, we could see small scale brewers, cheese factories and artisan bakeries set up in Orange’s commercial zones.
“The NSW Government conditions say these factories could set up in any of these zones provided they either have a retail area to sell products, a restaurant or café, or facilities to hold tasting, tours or workshops.
“With these changes, the potential to expand on food tourism is enormous.”
Orange City Council’s Employment and Economic Development Policy Committee Chair Tony Mileto said the changes would add to Orange’s economic diversity.
“People are moving away from mass-manufactured food and drinks and they want an experience,” Cr Mileto said.
“They want to see how, what they are consuming is made.
“Customers are becoming more knowledgeable and passionate about what they buy and we need to keep up with industry changes.
“Craft and locally produced goods come with a price premium and support tourism, hospitality and create jobs.
“Think more places like Factory Espresso in Kite Street where you can sit down and have a drink and a bite to eat with the sounds, smells and sights of coffee production in the background.”
To set up shop in the Orange CBD, small-scale factories producing boutique food and drink would need to apply for a development application, as would any other development.
Each DA would be assessed on its merits and there would be options for community consultation.