Hamilton’s James Street Plaza will be filled with colour and light every night following the installation of an interactive lighting display developed as part of City of Newcastle’s transformation of this much-loved community space.

Construction of the upgrade is now complete with new seating and artworks installed, and new paving, landscaping and tree planting transforming the space.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the launch of the evening lighting display was the final step in upgrading the plaza.

“It’s wonderful to see the way that the lighting display transforms the space at night, bringing colour and activity to this space for locals and visitors to enjoy,” Cr Nelmes said.

In June the community was asked to vote on their favourite of three lighting designs put forward by the University of Newcastle’s Future Art Science & Technology Lab (FASTLab), each celebrating a different aspect of Hamilton’s history and character.

The “Microcosmic Mosaic” concept proved to be the favourite and was developed into a ten-minute animation which will play on a loop to light up the space for four hours each evening, celebrating Hamilton’s unique character and history.

Councillor Carol Duncan said that the lighting display will attract visitors and activate the space at night, improving safety in the area.

“The community told us they wanted a safer, more appealing place for people to spend time during both the day and the night,” Cr Duncan said.

“Once COVID-19 restrictions lift, we look forward to seeing the community come together and activate the space with music, markets and food.”

In addition to the lighting display, the rich history of Hamilton is reflected in artworks in the renewed plaza, informed by the research of local historian Ruth Cotton, author of Hidden Hamilton and through collaboration with the Newcastle Museum.