Northern Tasmania needs people like investor and developer Rob Sherrard.
News the Virgin Australia founder will own Milton Hall and Christ Church on Frederick Street in September will hopefully lead to breathing life back into two of Launceston's most iconic heritage buildings.
Launceston has been lucky to have developers like Mr Sherrard, Errol Stewart and Josef Chromy transform the City Seaport into a social hub, the long derelict C.H. Smith Building into a useable space, Penny Royal into a tourist attraction, Relbia into a wine region, Quamby and Rutherglen into destinations and the Silos and old Launceston General Hospital into hotels - just to name a recent few.
Repurposing old buildings and sites is instrumental to evolving a city's character and many people outside those mentioned invest their time and money into making the region a better place.
It is unknown what Mr Sherrard has in store for the City Baptist Church-owned buildings, but a museum honouring The Examiner's founder and Christ Church's first pastor, Reverend John West, should be seriously tabled and considered.
West's work as an instrumental and moral leader began at Milton Hall and went on to found the Anti-Transportation League which successfully stopped transportation and started the step toward federation.
He wrote the first history of Tasmania and the first designs for the Australian flag were stitched together in Milton Hall.
Milton Hall was built in Launceston in 1842 and renovations were finished on the neighbouring Christ Church in 1885. Milton Hall was Launceston's first high school which became Launceston College. Both properties hold distinct places in our history.
A museum could be complemented by boutique accommodation perhaps?
And that is the key to strong developments - finding a balance between maintaining a building's historical significance, and keeping up with the city's overall progress.
While it will be a private development, Mr Sherrard has already flagged that the site could be used as a venue for local community art exhibitions, events or music functions with "an underlying charitable benefit" or that contribute to the local community - until a more permanent decision is made at least.
Another reason why these developments should be seen as an exciting opportunity for the region - the potential is huge.
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