The State’s biggest and only remaining railway roundhouse will be transformed into a unique Collie tourist attraction after the National Trust of WA was awarded nearly $1 million to revitalise the building.
Trust chief executive officer Julian Donaldson said restoring the roadhouse would allow it to reach a stage where it was ready to be leased out.
“Conserving the Collie Roundhouse will enable this historic landmark to be open for visitors to appreciate its remarkable architecture and historic connections to the town,” he said.
“This project aims to benefit the South West region and Collie as the site develops into a key destination – potentially promoting local heritage and local produce.
The $998,532 allocated to the restoration of the 1950s landmark building will be drawn from the $60 million Collie Futures Industry Development Fund.
Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray said the work would ensure the roundhouse was structurally sound, free of any residual contaminants and safe for public use.
“The long term view for the roundhouse is an exciting tourist facility, perfectly located at the entry to town – the opportunities are endless,” he said.
“We want the re-purposed roundhouse to be an icon for Collie and the South West and this is a big step forward in realising that vision.”
Planwest was given funding through the Collie Futures Small Grants Program to conduct a feasibility study exploring the possibility of housing a distillery in the building, however the idea has not been locked in for the location.
Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the roundhouse played an important role in the town’s development.
“This exciting project will help to transform Collie’s future by unlocking new opportunities for the town and its residents, while importantly conserving the building’s heritage values,” she said.
Mr Murray said the restoration would pay tribute to the town’s past while building a future to get excited about.
“It is pleasing to see some work being done at the roundhouse – a project that the people of Collie have wanted for some time,” he said.
“In the future, people will be able to visit, learn about the railway heritage of Collie, and enjoy what it has to offer.”