New purpose for CWA hall

New purpose for CWA hall

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River will spend $130,000 on the worn down Witchcliffe CWA Hall in a bid to give it a new lease on life.

The shire council made the decision at the April 28 meeting when it approved the request for a business lease at the hall.

Shire councillors approved the item seven to zero.

The hall has not been used and has been in a state of disrepair for years.

However, Narelle Lukins and Mike Bloxsome would like to see the building become a collaborative retail space that will provide a variety of local food produce and ethically sustainable goods for sale.

As part of the officer recommendation, council needed to approve $130,000 be spent on bringing the building back up to standard for use.

The scope of works needed to be done to hall include asbestos removal, internal painting, electrical rewiring, toilet upgrade and parking formalisation.

Shire Officers have estimated works will take about eight months to complete from the time of procurement of services.

The availability of building contractors could also impact upon the procurement timeframe.

In the shire's agenda it outlined that the new business would allow small local producers to retail their products who do not currently have a commercial base to do so.

Each producer would pay a small fee $15-25 per week for this space and in return would provide 12 hours commercial support to the business per annum.

Bulk foods will be offered with a no waste ethos where customers will bring their own containers for refill or buy recycled containers.

The proponents envisage there would be about 20 local producers invited to be part of the collective.

A store manager would be onsite to attend to customers, stock handling and manage the business.

The business has allocated $20,000 for start-up costs and $20,000 for management of ongoing stock levels and will provide wages for a full time manager.

As part of the approval, the lease term will be for five years with a five year option in favour of both parties, the lessee will be responsible for obtaining insurance and will indemnify the shire against any loss associated with the Lessee's use of the Hall.

The Lessee will be charged $11,000 per annum for rent plus outgoings with annual rent reviews.

Shire president Ian Earl said it was good to see people were interested in the hall because otherwise it would stay empty and the condition would worsen.

The next ordinary council meeting will be held on May 12.