RESTORING and leasing out an Orange City Council owned cottage in Lucknow for a business could be the key to reviving the village as the gateway to Orange rivaling the recent boom of Millthorpe, according to councillor Reg Kidd.
The council bought the late 19th century mining cottage opposite the Goldfield’s Tavern for $5000 in 2001.
Besides work to secure the property two years later the cottage has stood derelict ever since.
A plan for the cottage in 2009 found it would cost more than $117,000 to restore, but rather than footing the entire bill, Cr Kidd believes the council should consider a partnership with anyone willing to take it on.
“I believe it should be done up to maintain the integrity and style of it,” he said.
“There are a number of possible businesses that could operate there, it’s right on the highway.
“We should call for expressions of interest.”
Cr Kidd also wants council to meet with Laurence Mockler the owner of another heritage listed cottage in the village - behind the 2 Fat Ladies - to find out his plans.
“I love where it sits near the creek I see opportunities for it, but he’s the owner,” he said.
Mr Mockler said he plans to secure the cottage from generations of vandalism, but the cost of bringing it up to council requirements for a business, even with assistance from heritage grants, would not be worth it.
“I’d probably consider selling it,” he said.
“We’re interested in anything [the council could offer].”
Unlike council’s cottage, Mr Mockler said his did not have the same heritage significance for Lucknow as it only dated from the 1940s or 1950s and was lived in by a family of five up until the 1970s, despite having no electricity or running water.
2 Fat Ladies owner Helen Livingstone said she would love to see the cottages restored and used by a business, but said they weren’t the only run-down mining cottages in Lucknow.
“I think they are worth keeping,” she said.
“More should be done with the history of the [Wentworth] mine.
“People ask about it all the time.”