A QUIRKY appeal for cash to buy the old Warrnambool Fletcher Jones factory is being spearheaded by a past employee.
Former real estate developer Cedric Crisp says he wants to adopt the co-operative principles actively pursued by Sir Fletcher Jones to save the site from demolition.
Dr Crisp, 73, said he would be able to cover the $2 million price tag if several hundred investors took out shares as part of a heritage-focused co-operative, possibly chipping in about $10,000 each.
The Chirnside Park resident first flagged his intention to save the Pleasant Hill site three years ago. He has purchased advertising space in today’s edition of The Standard to publicise the venture.
“When you look at what the Fletcher Jones site has become, it’s a crying shame,” he said.
“Former employees like me need to get on board and save a piece of Australia’s heritage before it is sold to developers or crumbles away due to a lack of maintenance.”
He said the main factory floor space could be turned into a convention centre while the canteen could return to its original purpose. “It has great ocean views,” Dr Crisp said. “It could be a fantastic cafe or restaurant.”
Heritage Victoria has listed 19 items on the site for protection.