The City of Bunbury is looking at buying the Bill Brown furniture store in Victoria Street for possible use as a museum, despite having no collections to display.
The former Lyric Theatre is on the market for $1.7 million and is a State heritage-listed building. City of Bunbury director of community and customer services Stephanie Addison-Brown said a consultant had been appointed to investigate the feasibility of establishing a museum in Bunbury.
‘‘Initially 13 sites were identified; however the committee narrowed these down to two sites, the existing Bunbury Regional Art Galleries site and the Bill Brown building on Victoria Street,’’ Ms Addison-Brown said.
When asked if the council would be working with King Cottage to display any of their items, Ms Addison-Brown said the focus of King Cottage was different from that of a potential Bunbury Museum.
‘‘The intent would be to complement each other rather than compete and there is no intent to replace one with the other,’’ she said.
Bunbury Mayor David Smith was enthusiastic about the potential project, saying the Bill Brown furniture store was important in the history of Bunbury.
‘‘The museum would be a local one, not a regional one, and as such the council would need to cover the costs,’’ he said.
‘‘But I am keen to progress the idea.’’
The council is looking at plans for an art gallery on the Leschenault Inlet foreshore and although the Mayor said the art gallery and museum were different projects, a joint location would be useful.
Long serving councillor Judy Jones said there had been a museum committee since 1979. ‘‘We need new generational thinking, a museum and an art gallery are complementary and need not be tied to a theme,’’ Cr Jones said.
‘‘We desperately need exhibition space that could be accommodated in a joint museum/art gallery complex.’’