STRONG support by a local action group has boosted a campaign to keep Port Fairy’s Motts Cottage in public hands.
The National Trust-listed cottage is attracting good interest from the public during the summer holidays, with many people visiting its open afternoons from 2pm-4pm on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Strategic Planning Com-mittee to Save Motts Cottage spokeswoman Tricia Smith said an open garden afternoon earlier this month at the historic Seaview House on Philip Street, Port Fairy, had raised nearly $2000 towards the cottage’s costs.
The committee was set up after the National Trust’s Victorian branch floated a proposal about two years ago to sell off the cottage because it said ongoing costs like maintenance and upkeep made it a non-viable tourist asset.
But Mrs Smith said community opposition to the proposal had led the National Trust to agree that if the community could cover the cottage’s costs, it could remain in public hands.
Mrs Smith said the cottage was one of the few heritage-listed places in Port Fairy that was open for public viewing.
“We are confident we will be able to keep it in public hands,” she said.
“The National Trust has stated that if we manage to make $3000-$4000, that should be sufficient to cover costs.”
The National Trust acquired the local property many years ago restoring the cottage to its original condition.