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FREMANTLE council’s plans to create an artistic precinct on Arthur Head has taken an odd twist, with one of the J-Shed studios being handed to a nascent food collective for five months.

Freo Food looks set to move into the shed after arts group Six Months Only  pulled out at the eleventh hour.

Cr Rachel Pemberton says 6MO pulled out due to “personal reasons”, so the social foodie group was sounded out about taking over the lease.

“It turns out the mob that got offered it originally won’t be going ahead….so….we have to tweak our offering a bit to key it right in with the precinct but we are now in a good position to take over the space till at least the end of June,” posted Robert James Peters, Freo Food founder and ex-Greenpeace employee.

Freo Food advocate package-free supermarkets and personal hubs where people can sell food cheaply by cutting overheads and processes, like offering ungraded eggs which are unwashed and come in different sizes.

A council agenda summed up its original application as “a hospitality offering including small-scale events; workshops, music, book/film clubs, exhibitions, talks and conversation.”

Thirteen applicants originally applied for the lease, including Greg James Sculpture and Blazing Swan.

Mr James, who runs a sculpture studio next door, said he hoped Freo Food could make a positive and long-term contribution to the Bathers Beach Arts Precinct, but says he’s a little puzzled by the council’s intent.

“The idea of an art precinct where art is made and something where they hold events is very different,” he said.

He noted that while there was great excitement on Freo Food’s Facebook page about having a new headquarters and many food-related comments, no one mentioned any artistic endeavours.

Freo Food’s tenure will end when Sunset Events’ lease kicks in on July 1.

There is some speculation that Sunset may apply for a scaled-back version of its tavern and music venue, with the company doing it tough following the cancellation of its Southbound Festival due to the devastating Yarloop fires.

The Chook heard boss David Chitty had been forced to cut back on staff and had delivered the bad news earlier this week, but he’d only confirm that there’d been a ‘restructure”.


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