The first steps towards upgrading the town centre started in May 2010 when ASPIRE appointed a team of professionals to formulate planning documents and funding proposals.
In June 2011, National Treasury approved R14.4 million for the upgrade via the NDPG.
The major objective was to create a vibrant social and economically functional “heart” of Hamburg, where residents could enjoy substantially better access to civic, commercial, recreational and social services. It would also bring new functions into Hamburg that would attract private investment and strengthen the local arts and tourism sector and its employment potential. The intention was to portray Hamburg as an “arts town”.
The upgrade included development around a market square that supports key economic activities and social services, such as an amphitheatre, music academy, environmental and skills centre, craft workshops and gallery for the Keiskamma Trust.
On the 10th of April 2009, the sod-turning ceremony for the construction of the town centre upgrade took place. The event was well attended and the audience enjoyed the performance of the Keiskamma Music Academy.
The upgrade of the CBD in Hamburg commenced in 2009. This upgrade includes the construction of a music academy, arts & crafts centre and an environmental centre. Completion was achieved during September 2014.