THE former Bendigo Mining Exchange could soon be up for sale, opening up restoration opportunities for the unused site.
City of Greater Bendigo councillors will this week decide whether to approve the sale.
The exchange is located at 24-26 Pall Mall and is part of the larger Beehive Building complex.
A report to be tabled at Wednesday’s meeting states that selling the former exchange to the private sector will enable it to be restored and reused.
The Bendigo Mining Exchange was built in 1872 and is the oldest known purpose built stock exchange in Australia.
It was designed by prominent architect Charles Webb, who also designed the similarly detailed Royal Arcade in Melbourne.
It was purchased by the city in December 1999 with the assistance of a state government grant provided on the basis that the city took on a stewardship role with the building.
This meant undertaking essential repair works, identifying a preferred long-term use for the building and getting it ‘investment ready’.
The report to council states the sale should be conducted through an expression of interest process that requires the purchaser to retain the integrity of this important heritage building while adding to the life and vibrancy of central Bendigo.
“The city has rescued this building from sliding into an unrepairable state and has invested a considerable amount of human and financial resources to get it to the stage that it is now a viable option to be returned to private ownership,” the report states.
“The final stage of the city’s stewardship role is to sell the building to an owner who is capable of delivering the project to the standard that this building deserves.
“Given the amount of private sector interest that has recently been shown, it is likely that this will now become a reality.”