Council to seek partners for Osborne House restoration

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

An expressions of interest (EoI) process will be pursued for the redevelopment of Osborne House and Stables.

Council last night resolved to seek the interest of potential partners in pursuing a sustainable development of the historic Osborne House and Stables in North Geelong.

The decision follows an assessment of potential future options for the site that were deemed likely to attract various levels of government and private partnership investment.

A further report on how to proceed with an EoI will be presented to Council by the end of the year, before going out to the market in early 2021.

Potential investors will be asked to respond to a range of principles aimed at creating an enduring, creative, productive and protected heritage and community asset.

These principles include:

  • Retaining Osborne House in public ownership;
  • All areas for the sole use of community groups remaining under the direct control of the City;
  • Considering the total restoration of the significant heritage buildings of Osborne House;
  • Considering a mix of community, public and commercial uses, while also providing for public access and community use; and
  • Interpreting, protecting and celebrating the First Nations’ heritage, along with the significant post-settlement heritage buildings and landscape.

Council has committed to contributing up to $10 million over four years towards the significant restoration project.

This includes $2 million that has been allocated for restoration and maintenance works that are underway on the site.

Funds from the lease agreement on the former Russell Polo Field will also be directed to Osborne House.

The Council will also seek to confirm that the Victorian Government will transfer a $1.03 million heritage loan repayment to the restoration works.

Consultation has occurred with the Osborne Park Association, Wadawarrung Traditional Owners, National Trust of Victoria, Heritage Victoria, Regional Development Victoria and a range of community groups with a social or heritage connection to the site.

A project control group, made up of key community stakeholders and Government agencies, will now be tasked with providing oversight of the EoI process. 

A further report outlining options for the maritime and naval collection housed in the Osborne House Stables has also been sought by January 2021.

Brownbill Ward Cr Eddy Kontelj

After many years, it’s really exciting we’re taking another step forward towards the sustainable redevelopment of Osborne House, which Council agreed in 2018 to keep in public hands. Council has extensively engaged with stakeholders and the broader community in a robust and healthy manner about the future of this historic site. I thank the community groups and individuals who have been involved for their input. The Expression of Interest process will test the market to better understand the level of interest that exists in government and/or private sector partnering with Council in the redevelopment of Osborne House and its surrounds.

Page last updated: Wednesday, 9 September 2020