By Jackson Russell

Romsey’s heritage street lamps and building illuminations were turned on for the first time on Friday night after years of hard work from community working groups.

At 7pm, electrician Lachy DeAraugo flicked the switches to light up Romsey Mechanics Institute, the fountain precinct, heritage lamps, northern entry trees and the former shire office building at Romsey Community Hub.

Old Mates Café opened specially for the event, warming residents up with homemade hot donuts and coffee.

Romsey Region Business and Tourism Association president Jenny Stillman said the Romsey Streetscape Enhancement Project came out of a community group meeting in 2015.

“There was a strong sentiment for some aesthetic enhancements in the town so the concept was developed about what elements might make a big difference and the heritage lamps came out of that,” she said.

“The heritage lamps are as close as possible to the original lamp design in the town. Council had to get something that was LED, environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient.

“We’re pretty excited that it’s all come to fruition.”

The total cost of the project was about $500,000 with the majority covered by the State Government and Regional Development Victoria, and a $150,000 contribution by Macedon Ranges Shire Council.

The project isn’t completely finished with some signs to come to complement the lights and bluestone curbing.

Ms Stillman said the association wouldn’t have been able to get the project going without the help of council.

“We had a very strong partnership with the economic development and tourism department at council because they’ve been really supportive,” she said.

“Thanks to all of the community members involved in the Streetscape project working groups with special mention to Rhett Strautins and Geoff Bright who worked on the lighting group.

“A huge thank you is also extended to council staff members who supported the project during the period between its 2015 inception to now.”