Lost trades find purpose


A group of artisans and tradespeople are lobbying to turn the soon-to-be vacated Kyneton Primary School into a specialist trades hub.

An $11.5 million project to relocate the state primary school to a new Edgecombe Street site – next to Kyneton Secondary College and Our Land of the Rosary primary school – broke ground last month.

The Baynton Street site is now up for tender and the organisers of the town’s popular annual Lost Trades Fair want first dibs.

But Kyneton Primary School principal Alistair Rayner told

Star Weekly the school’s current site would first be offered to government departments and Macedon Ranges council.

Macedon Ranges mayor Jennifer Anderson said the council has no plans to tender for the land at this point.

“We are keen to work with the community and state government to retain the land for community use,” Cr Anderson said. “It’s an important asset that should be retained as a community space.

“I would like the government to ask the local community what they’d like to see happen in the future,” she said. “I’m sure there’s some brilliant ideas out there.

“It’s centrally located and has plenty of space – there’s great potential for it to become a buzzing community hub for any number of activities.”

Kyneton Lost Trades Fair organiser Lisa Rundell and her husband, Glen, a Windsor chair-maker, are leading the charge to have the old school buildings repurposed for a rare and forgotten trades centre, or CRAFT school, for short.

The idea was pitched to the International Specialist Schools Institute last week in an effort to drum up more support.

“There’s 14 classrooms there and we are, at the moment, running our workshops at full capacity, and have been for some time,” Ms Rundell said.

“There is the opportunity here to have a facility up and running as an education precinct within a couple of months of the school leaving the premises.

“Some other ideas for the site, including bulldozing it, rebuilding low-cost community housing or putting a carpark in, could mean that site would be a construction site for the next two or three years.

“It wouldn’t be operational in a short time, nor generating tourism and profits for the community,” she said.

The campaign rides on the back of the success of this month’s Lost Trades Fair, which drew nearly 20,000 visitors to Kyneton for a two-day event involving more than 100 speciality artisans from across Victoria and interstate.