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27 Oct 2021

$400,000 for restoration project | Mount Barker Courier

Scott Murphy

Milang's Lakeside Butter Factory and its adjacent cottage will see new life after a $400,000 Federal grant was awarded to help with the historic restoration project.

The project to restore the town's butter factory precinct is being spearheaded by the Milang and District Community Association, which has been championing the site since 2016.

Prior to the new grant the group had sourced $800,000 in funding from Federal and State programs and had undertaken more than 10,000 hours of volunteer work.

Association president John Whyte said the additional money was a welcome surprise that would let the group finally finish the bulk of the project.

"It's huge. We were dancing with glee when we got the news," Mr Whyte said.

"We didn't think we would get the money because of the Covid-19 situation and where money is going Federally ...

so we had virtually given up."

Mr Whyte said the grant would be used to complete the construction of the main building, ensuring the historic facade was retained with the inclusion of new safety and accessibility features.

The money would also be used to restore the site's old manager's cottage and install public toilets.

Traditional butter making would not return with Mr Whyte saying they planned to use the site to showcase the broader regional history and food of Milang and host community events.

Site manager John Bradford said the funding boost would allow the site to be safe for a community walk-through by the end of the year.

"With this extra money, we're hoping to have an open day before the end of the year," he said.

"So many people are interested in what's happening and have been for a long time and we want to share what we've been doing with the community."

The Federal Building Better Regions fund also awarded $25,000 to the Mt Barker Council under its submission to develop a plan for the arts.

SA Senator Andrew McLachlan said the Government's investment would deliver better facilities and economic opportunities for the region.

"We are backing these projects so local people have the facilities for the future while creating jobs to boost our economic recovery following the Covid19 pandemic," he said.

During round five of the Federal program, 295 projects across regional Australia will be funded, creating an estimated 9900 jobs.

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