Council and museum to enter into MOU for restoration of Willards Farm homestead

Redland City’s historic Willard’s Farm could get a new lease on life with Council and the Redland Museum to join forces to help restore the property for community use.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Councillors today supported her request for Council to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Redland Museum.

“We know this property is rich in history and we know Redland Museum is best placed to help Council protect and celebrate that history, and today’s decision will make that possible,” Cr Williams said.

“Council purchased the Birkdale property in 2016 to protect its heritage values; and today’s decision will ensure this heritage is enjoyed by future Redlanders and visitors to our beautiful part of the world.”

Cr Williams said the MOU would include:

  • joint planning to restore and protect the building in a manner that allowed for community access and celebration of the property’s history;
  • the investigation of funding, grants and philanthropic donations to fund the project;
  • and an investigation of management models for Redland Museum to manage the facility after its redevelopment.

“Subject to the next budget review, Council will provide funds to Redland Museum to complete a feasibility study into the restoration, preservation and ongoing management of Willards Farm,” she said.

Cr Williams said since purchasing the property Council has been investing funds into works to protect it from further deterioration and make it safe.

“We have been looking at ways to restore this property for some time, including applying for State Government funding earlier this year,” she said.

“Unfortunately, this application was unsuccessful.

“However, Redland Museum then wrote to me asking for Council to partner with them to restore the property to a condition where to could be enjoyed by the whole community.

“This site is of historic significance to the Redlands Coast community and it is right that our local museum plays a role in helping to restore and maintain it so the community can appreciate its history.”