Kyneton Primary School in Baynton Street, Kyneton was closed in March 2018.
Later that year, the Victorian Government committed to retain the former school site and undertake consultation overseen by Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) with the community on what it valued about the site and how it would like it to be redeveloped.
This engagement followed an extensive consultation undertaken by Ethos Urban on behalf of Regional Development Victoria and Macedon Shire Council in 2017 and 2018, which explored options for the site
The 2018 consultation by DELWP found that the community wanted the site kept for community use, with open spaces, areas for community groups.
Development Victoria and Creative Victoria are now progressing with plans to transform the site into an arts, cultural and creative hub.
In the 2020-21 State Budget, $12 million was allocated to the project. This funding will help bring the buildings up to a usable standard and pave the way for future stages of redevelopment. After an Expression of Interest (EOI) process, Working Heritage was appointed as future site operator in June 2021.
The site will be used by local artists to create and promote their work to the local community and visitors to the area. It will also be used to host events, exhibitions, and community markets, contributing to the local economy by encouraging visitors and investment from outside the local area.
The project will unlock an asset currently not available to the community and its visitors. The site will integrate the local character of Kyneton by retaining existing trees and providing new landscaping.
The space will be available for use by the region’s broader creative industries, such as architects, graphic designers, interior designers, and enable creative industry-focused retail – supporting the ongoing growth of the region’s creative industries.
Strategic site master
Working Heritage has worked with local architects, Winwood Mackenzie and Fieldwork, to develop a strategic site master plan that will guide the vision for the site.
Visit the Engage Victoria website to view the strategic site masterplan and learn more.
Following community consultaltion in mid-2022, a planning application will go to DELWP to enable re-purposing the existing 1850s bluestone school building and 1980s two-storey component into flexible spaces for a range of creative uses.
Development Victoria and Creative Victoria have appointed a heritage advisor to prepare a Heritage Impact Assessment. This will ensure the work enhances the heritage building and recognises the architectural, cultural, and historical value.
The assessment will identify appropriate measures to preserve and restore elements of the building. This would include working closely with Working Heritage and heritage advisors to manage and repurpose all demolished elements of the original bluestone building through a sensitive and appropriate revitalisation plan.
- Consultation on strategic site master plan
- Development Victoria and Creative Victoria will lodge the Planning Report to DELWP.
- Following consultation with the community, Macedon Shire Council and other decision-makers, DELWP will determine the planning application.
- If approved, work would start onsite.
Updated on 28 September 2022