But they have stressed the vision is not a profit making venture, rather a plan to ensure the reserve is protected from the threat of inappropriate development once and for all.
“We are residents of Point Lonsdale who are passionate about the area, its heritage and landscape,” said project director Matt Davis.
“We have long been struck by the beauty of the Reserve space, and disturbed by its lack of accessibility and functionality. It has been fenced off, left derelict for years and past proposals have polarised the community, highlighting the desire of many to see the landscape untouched, while others are in support of the site’s potential development,” he said.
Titled a “Creative Step Forward,” the detailed proposal includes several elements;
■ An annual “Lighthouse” festival celebrating local history, art, music, food, wine and culture. This would incorporate around 20 musical acts performing across three stages, installations commissioned by local and international artists, talks and discussions by leading scholars, a children’s area, health and wellbeing space and a celebration of locally-produced food and wine
■ A Lighthouse Cinema – screening free open air movies for children and adults on Saturday evenings throughout Summer, supported by food vans and a wine bar
■ A Welcome Centre would be situated at the entrance to the area and designed "to present the history of the area in a new and exciting way."
■ A Gallery to showcase the work of emerging and established artists.
■ A theatre dedicated to live performance across all artistic disciplines.
■ An artists residency program, and
■ A cafe
The creative team behind the vision includes Mr Davis, a freelance writer and musician, his wife, actor and writer Jayne Tuttle, freelance artist, musician and yoga teacher Suzie Wyllie and her husband, record producer Nick Huggins, as well as Kitty Walker - Development team manager of the acclaimed Bangarra Dance Company.
The proposal would use existing buildings on site, or work within existing development footprints.
"We see this renewed site becoming the heart of the Borough, a home for the art and cultural heritage of the area and, in this way, truly returning it to the community."
Mr Davis said he had floated the idea to newly-elected councillors and some community groups and had received a “generally positive response.”
Given community anger over the talk of development and, more recently, a push to have the precinct heritage listed, he is also expecting rejection from some sections.
“Our proposal is to return the site to the community by using the existing landscape and buildings to create an arts and cultural centre that honours the history and heritage of the land, while inviting the local and wider community to engage with it.
“Our vision is inspired by such arts precincts as The Abbotsford Convent, Heide, Montsalvat, CERES, MONA in Hobart and Le Centquatre in Paris,” he said.
“In short we feel the strength of the idea is this: it would keep the area in the community’s hands while offering a cultural hub to residents and the wider community, putting Point Lonsdale on the map as a place of cultural and artistic relevance.”
The proposal can be viewed in full and the group is keen to hear community feedback at; facebook.com/creativestepforward.