Grist for the mill: 80 turn up to learn about redevelopment

THE first stage of the Tremain’s Mill redevelopment could be completed by Christmas with hopes that retailers will be operating from the restored Victoria Stores shops on Keppel Street.

The shops will be just one stage of the overall redevelopment of the site that will include the Australian Milling Museum, a world-first museum celebrating the nation’s flour milling history.

More than 80 people attended the first in a series of heritage workshops at the mill last Thursday to hear an update on the progress of the redevelopment and development of the museum.

“The heritage community is alive and well in Bathurst and that attendance speaks very well of that community,” research consultant Councillor Jess Jennings said.

“They came to see the restoration process going ahead and hear about the steps in the development of the museum.

“The workshop was really called so that people with an interest in heritage restoration could come along and see what changes have been made and see how builders have dealt with them, and get a sense of what’s going on at the site.”

Cr Jennings said a key outcome of the workshop was the announcement that the Australian Milling Museum would be a not-for-profit community-led co-operative.

BIG PLANS: Property developer Steve Birrell with a virtual image of the old flour mill site. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 073117ctmill3a

BIG PLANS: Property developer Steve Birrell with a virtual image of the old flour mill site. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 073117ctmill3a

He said the board would retain a national focus.

Tremain’s Mill owner Stephen Birrell opened the workshop before turning the floor over to master builder Murray Arnold and joiner Dave Turek to offer their insights on the project so far.

The second phase of the redevelopment will include the first stage of the milling museum and also a forecourt development.

The first mill at the Tremain site was built in 1857 and purchased by William Tremain, a Scottish proprietor, in 1857. From there, an industrial dynasty began.

Prior to federation, family-run businesses like Tremain’s formed the backbone of milling industries in most states, with technological innovation impacting the industry throughout the 20th century.

Current owner Mr Birrell hopes the milling museum will become an important tourist attraction for Bathurst. The museum is expected to open early in 2020.