A “small group of committed citizens” is considering raising half a million dollars to make the Old Drouin Butter Factory a community art space.
Image: the Old Drouin Butter Factory earlier this year. Source: Google Maps.
The group, with the assistance of the Committee for Drouin, is encouraging people with an interest in the move to visit and explore the 1 Main South Road site during an open day next month.
“An extraordinary opportunity has arisen in Drouin for the community to purchase the Old Drouin Butter Factory, previously restored and privately owned by the O’ Donnell family,” a Committee for Drouin spokesperson said in a media release.
“A small group of committed citizens is currently exploring the possibility of raising $500,000 to keep the buildings as a community asset, and to sustain the ongoing costs through community and commercial activity.
“There are several gallery spaces available and space for sizeable installations.
“On Sunday 12 November between 10am and 5pm the doors of the Old Drouin Butter Factory will be flung open for the public to view the recently renovated buildings, and consider the multitude of ways these spaces might serve the community, which is currently without any public meeting space.
“The organising group, assisted by the Committee For Drouin, is encouraging everyone who has an interest in the development of the ODBF to come along explore the buildings and the potential for artistic use, to consider the benefits to the township, and offer any level of services, support or advice.”
According to the committee, the building dates back to 1904 and its facade is heritage listed by the National Trust.
“The current owner wishes it to be retained for community purposes if at all possible, and the community is greatly concerned at the potential loss to community were it to be sold privately,” a committee spokesperson said.
“The group anticipates the building will be owned by a not-for-profit organisation with a Board of Management tasked with the governance and economic viability of the organisation.
“The organisation would seek membership and support from a wide variety of existing community groups, businesses, organisations and individuals, and establish transparent community consultative processes ensuring maximum usage of the factory.
“For years individuals and community groups in the area have wished for a community hub, somewhere run by the community for the community. The ODBF has a mixture of a café/restaurant, several different meeting rooms, two theatres and art gallery space with a potential for sales points, artists workshop spaces and community gardens.”
Open day details:
Sunday 12 November
10am – 5pm
1 Main South Road, Drouin
Tea/coffee and cake: $6
Get free email updates from the Baw Baw Citizen
Read more Baw Baw News