- National Trust of Western Australia's Expression of Interest process for the Collie Roundhouse complete
- Be Our Guest Holdings - owners of the Dome café brand - selected as preferred proponent to lease the historic site
- Vision includes heritage conservation, boutique accommodation and food offerings
- Variety of jobs will unlock economic benefit for the Collie community
The National Trust of Western Australia has selected a preferred proponent to lease the historic Collie Roundhouse and transform the space into a vibrant public and commercial space.
The McGowan Government is investing $1 million through the National Trust of Western Australia for remediation works to prepare the historic Collie landmark for commercial use.
Be Our Guest Holdings' application to the Expression of Interest process focused on adaptive re-use of the site which will include mixed use linking the site to the town centre.
The Collie Roundhouse was built in the 1950s as a place to maintain the steam locomotives servicing the State's coal industry, making it a significant relic of WA's history, and is now the State's only roundhouse and turntable that remains in situ.
The potential development, which proposes a joint venture between private enterprise and State Government, would re-activate the Collie Roundhouse building and precinct, extending to the existing Visitor Centre site, to drive guests to the town and region.
The unique vision integrates public space, parklands, adventure play, landscaped bushland, a range of accommodation options and spaces for functions, exhibitions and events.
The proposal, while still in the early planning stages, includes craft food and beverage options, a café and bistro, quality boutique accommodation and an adventure tourism accommodation camping area to the east of the Roundhouse.
The proposal expressed sensitivity to the site's rail heritage and a vision to create a world-class interpretation of the history, respecting the Collie community's vision for the site as well as past and future use of the space as a community asset.
Be Our Guest Holdings is a proven Western Australian success story, most notably owning the Dome café brand which now operates in over 60 locations across the State.
They have also developed and operate a number of independent label restaurants, hotels, wine bars and event venues, which have adaptive re-use of landmark heritage assets as a strong focus, and are unique assets to regional WA.
Their recent regional successes include the adaptive re-use of a 1800s industrial heritage complex in Katanning, creating the Premier Mill Hotel and the Farmers' Home Hotel in Northam created from a former general store, tavern and lodging house.
The National Trust will now work to enter into an 'Intent to Lease' with Be Our Guest Holdings to enable further planning of the development.
The State Government will hold further discussions to consider what assistance can be provided to support this venture and deliver long-term benefits for the Collie community.
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"This proposal - by a proven operator with an extraordinary record of delivering quality hospitality and accommodation in regional WA - would transform the Roundhouse into a world-class destination.
"This Western Australian company has an impressive track record for re-envisioning historic buildings in a way that honours the heritage and creates spaces that feel contemporary.
"The project has now been approved to proceed to Stage Two assessment for assistance from the Collie Industry Attraction and Development Fund."
Comments attributed to Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray:
"This proposal respects and values the heritage of the site valued dearly by many in the Collie community.
"I'm pleased to see a proposal that includes public interest in showcasing the history of the building, while giving it new life for future generations to enjoy.
"There is still a lot of work to be done to plan the details of this proposal but this is a step closer to seeing a significant landmark brought back to life for tourists and locals to enjoy.
"A project of this scale would create numerous jobs in construction and in the ongoing operation and have significant flow-on benefits for the town."
Comment attributed to National Trust of Western Australia CEO Julian Donaldson:
"Be Our Guest Holdings have presented an inspired vision that respects the heritage values of the site through a major adaptive re-use project and presents Collie with a tremendous opportunity to leverage its remarkable tourism potential."
Minister's office - 6552 6200