Lethbridge Station To Reopen To Community
Despite the wet weather and grey skies, it was all smiles in Lethbridge this afternoon for a funding announcement to transform the Lethbridge Station Building into a new space for locals to enjoy.
Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle MP was joined by Mayor Cr Helena Kirby, Golden Plains Shire Council Acting CEO Phil Josipovic, representatives from VicTrack and members from the Lethbridge Community Group for the announcement that the station was one of 10 stations across Victoria to be restored under the Victorian Government’s $9 million Community Use of Vacant Rail Buildings Program.
The bluestone station was built in 1862 and served passengers travelling on the Geelong to Ballarat line. After being discussed for many years, VicTrack will fully restore the structure and the interior of the building so it can be opened back up to the community as a multi-purpose community arts and cultural hub.
VicTrack will work with an expert heritage architect to ensure the restoration is sympathetic to the heritage values of the building.
This project has been a number of years in the making. In 2016, Council facilitated an expression of interest for locals interested in utilising the building and seeking refurbishment funding through the Community Use of Vacant Rail Buildings Program. The Lethbridge Community Group then developed a business proposal and requested assistance from Council to take on the head lease and sub-let the building to the group.
With the Victorian Government funding secured for the building’s refurbishment, Council will take on the head lease of the building from VicTrack following the restoration work, and sub-lease the building to the Lethbridge Community Group.