colonial building

Workshop planned for Willow Court’s way forward

A COMMUNITY workshop is planned for mid-November to discuss a community-driven approach to the future of the remaining council-owned sections of the Willow Court historic site at New Norfolk. After meeting in private for the past few months, the group is now prepared to go public.

It hopes that the workshop will identify common ground about how the former hospital site can be developed. “We expect over these three days in November to identify current options and develop a vision and action plan with a shared understanding of the Willow Court barracks precinct’s future,” spokesperson Jon Grant said.

Mr Grant said it was hoped this approach would provide a more stable future for what he called a “troubled 200-year-old historic site” covering about three hectares in New Norfolk’s town centre.

The subject area includes the former Wards A and C, which are currently leased to the New Norfolk Distillery; the original hospital – now referred to as the barracks building, which is leased to the Salamanca Arts Centre; and Frescati House which was in the care of the Friends of Frescati until that group was disbanded by the Derwent Valley Council during its purge of volunteers.

The 16-hour workshop from November 10-12 at the New Norfolk Bowls Club aims to “draw from the local Tasmanian community workable ways to allow the site to be restored and made financially self-sustaining through public-private sector collaborations.”

“What’s needed is a plan that the New Norfolk community owns and sees to fruition, because this Willow Court site is unique and nationally significant, we expect to hear a wide spectrum of voices and views,” Mr Grant said.

Email for more information.

This article has been edited to correct the date provided by the organisers of the workshop.

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  1. I honestly think that this workshop is pointless. What is needed is commitment from this state government to appoint experienced objective professionals to assess the setting for profitable projects that will benefit the community and retain this historic site. Otherwise nothing will happen, change of a mishmatch of ideas and temporary fixes are adopted.
    This needs money, expertise vision and respect to acknowledge the past, present to the future a similar working model like the Port Arthur precinct. Of course local input is to be considered, however without the aforementioned, we all know how only having local representation has been showed to end in this municipality, don’t we? Badly. We need a progressive township in order to keep our community thriving and socially healthy (and inviting, welcoming) for newcomers who wish to make their lives and homes here.

  2. Here is an example of private and public partnership between Health, Arts and Film and other creatives. Many movies and shows you watch which are based in South Australia use the historic buildings at this site. A huge amount of work is generated in set construction, catering ,acting, film production and a multitude of related arts employing many locals and training many. And we have that abundance of dramatic cinematic landscapes just on our doorstep.
    Many large successful arts programs are funded by the Australia Council for the Arts. Interestingly I can’t find a Tasmanian Arts program receiving a grant from this body. I plan to ask these questions and find out how we can find support and funding as other states have. There are many new residents to this region that bring a wealth of knowledge but have never had the chance to have input before now. And creatives are problem solvers!

    Inside Glenside: A history of mental health in Adelaide

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