CHANGE? Butter factory.
CHANGE? Butter factory.

Butter factory’s fate on the line

FOR decades it has been a creative hub and beacon for the arts community but the future of the Cooroy Butter Factory could look very different.

The Noosa Council has announced it will undertake a review of the art gallery and workshop space by carrying out consultations to explore possible future uses.

Council's Director of Community Services Alan "Fox" Rogers said the butter factory, which was purchased in the early 1990s by the Noosa Council, would cost the council $150,000 in operations for the 2014/15 financial year.

This included bout $20,000 in depreciation and $25,000 in maintenance.

"Unfortunately, the operational model currently in place is simply unsustainable," he said. "We are looking for a community partnership to identify a more cost-effective way to use and manage the space.

"Over the next few months we want to explore a range of options for the butter factory's future so we can develop a new direction that respects community priorities."

Volunteer organisation the Friends of Mill Place, who participate in the promotion and activities for the precinct including the butter factory and the Cooroy library, have been notified their input would be required into the review.

Lower Mill Board secretary Carol Christensen said they would meet with Noosa's chief executive officer Brett De Chastel on Thursday.

Former Noosa councillor and passionate artist Lew Brennan said arts programs should not be designed to be profitable.

"These programs are a contribution to enhancing civic life and culture," he said.

"To say the existing model is unsustainable made me a little concerned about the direction they might be taking.

"There is an incredible amount of very talented artists of all types that live throughout the hinterland here and this is a valuable piece of infrastructure for them to work in and around.

"The arts industry does bring significant amounts of money into the economy, but the facilities themselves are very rarely profitable.

"If the Noosa Council is a financially sound organisation, why are all of these volunteer organisations being told things are going to be run differently?" Mr Brennan said.

"There's a bad smell in the air and that budget is part of it."

Those interested in having a say in the future of the butter factory can attend the workshop on August 27 at 6pm at the Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre, Maple St, Cooroy.

To attend the workshop or register your interest in the consultation, email or phone 5329 6508.

Brushing up for a worthy charity Rose

Brushing up for a worthy charity Rose

Painting for a good cause in Noosa

Book for TN Training Sessions

Book for TN Training Sessions

Tourism Noosa's training courses now ready

Strawberries strong in Noosa

Strawberries strong in Noosa

Locals show support for growers despite needle saga

Local Partners