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Rochester Historical Society grant boost

Rochester Historical Society has received grants to help preserve the original features of Rochester’s oldest building, the Common School.

GRAHAM WILLIS September 2, 2014 3:01am

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Rochester Historical Society received a huge boost of $57,000 from the Victorian Regional Growth Fund towards the restoration of the Common School building.

Campaspe Shire has also provided $19,000, while the society will use $5000 of its own funds.

Member for Rodney Paul Weller said the works would restore the original features of Rochester’s oldest building to ensure its long-term preservation.

‘‘The project will replace the roof material, gutters, down pipes and associated drainage, fascia and external timbers,’’ he said.

‘‘It will restore the 140-year-old building back to mint condition.’’

Regional Growth Fund spokesperson David Gittus said the fund invests in community-led projects to strategically drive jobs, investment and innovation in rural and regional Victoria.

‘‘This has been in the pipeline for some time, since the society put in an expression of interest,’’ he said.

‘‘The society is to be commended for its continued work in preserving much of the district history and this investment by the fund will assist them.’’

The museum has attracted many visitors to the area recently, including busloads keen to see the extensive exhibits.

It will become part of the new Tourist App recently developed.

‘‘The project will add tremendous value to the region and Rochester’s tourist product by providing an interest to divert travellers heading to other destinations,’’ Mr Weller said.

‘‘It will allow the building to be integrated into the touring route from Bendigo to Echuca which has been identified as an opportunity for Rochester in the Tourism Strategic Destination Development Plan 2007-2017 developed by Campaspe and Murray shire councils and Tourism Victoria,’’ Mr Weller said.

Society president Lorraine Haines was thrilled to receive the donation.

‘‘Our sincere thanks to both the Regional Growth Fund and the Campaspe Shire,’’ she said.

‘‘This restoration will truly give Rochester a building of which they can be very proud,’’ she said.

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